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Synopsis

Glenn Bower’s ancestors came from England, Germany, and Scotland. They included farmers, sailors, teachers, merchants, ministers, poets and politicians. Many of them fought and died in wars. The varied themes of each chapter are common to previous generations of many American families. The storylines include the following persons:

Wilhelm Baür (William Bower) came to America in 1833 with his five brothers because his parents were concerned about militarism in their native Würrtemberg. He joined the 29th Ohio in the Civil War, as did 3 brothers, and he died in prison after being captured in their second battle.

Margaret Polk Colburn was the first woman physician in Henry County, Indiana. Her husband had served with her father in Accomac, Virginia, during the Revolutionary War. Her ancestors included members of three notable Scottish clans: Maxwells, Polloks and Sempills; and her distant cousins included Confederate General and Episcopal Bishop Leonidas Polk and President James K. Polk.

Margaret’s son, John R. Colburn, was born in North Carolina and became an abolitionist preacher in Missouri during the Civil War. His son served as an armed guard at the services. Ten year old Georg Trimmer’s mother and 159 other passengers on the Davy, as well as the captain and both mates, died during the 1738 voyage from Amsterdam to Philadelphia. Georg and his father Hans were among the 121 surviving passengers brought into port by the ship’s carpenter who had become the senior officer.

Charles Wright wrote a book about the service of his regiment, the 81st Ohio, during the Civil War; he later served many years as town clerk for Oxford, Ohio, and briefly as mayor.

General Israel Putnam was famous for his leadership and bravery during the French and Indian War as well as the Revolutionary War. In 1767 a pregnant Irish girl named Katie was waiting for Israel with her wedding dress when she heard of his marriage to a wealthy widow; she raised their son John in western Massachusetts.

An older sister and brother of Samuel Jones were taken from their farm by Wyandot Indians in 1777; they survived separately for many years in captivity, and were both ultimately reunited with their family.

Stephen Hopkins survived the 1609 shipwreck of the Sea Venture on its way to Jamestown, and then brought his family to America in 1620 on the Mayflower.

The Royalls were watermen in Norfolk, England. Edmund was crushed to death between a boat and the dock in the late 1800s; several of his children emigrated to Canada and then Washington, D.C.

Amos Bassett was 13 when the Civil War started; 2 of his 3 brothers who were old enough to serve died soon after they enlisted. One of his wife Matilda’s brothers lost his left leg in the war 8 days before it ended, and 6 days after he turned 21. Amos’s first Bassett ancestor in America arrived in 1621 on the Fortune, the second ship to land at the Plymouth Colony.

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