Friday, May 25, 2012

Further Ramblings Down A Twisted Path

Been working on the Knapp lines.  I have them ALL messed up.  Stick with what you know.  It's what you're supposed to do when you write fiction, and it should be the rule for genealogy as well.  I can absolutely go back to Isaac Knapp b. 1767.  Born where?  Unsure.  Married twice: 1st: Abigail Champlin.  She died in 1814.  Isaac married again, Rhoda Herriman Palmer.  She was the widow of a man with the surname of Palmer.  Ironically, Abilgail Champlin's mother was also a Palmer, to whit, Abigail Palmer, wife of Joseph Champlin, Jr.  The whole thing makes me long for a time machine so I can go back and find out who was married to whom, who was born where, and who were siblings.  But I can't.  I can only fumble around on the dark highways of the internet and try to find connections.  

But I tell ya, it's kind of fun, this untangling of tangled, messy lives.  I found a raging case of incest which was confirmed by a descendant, ("We don't talk about it, but it's true.  We all know it.  But who wants to spread that stuff around?" said the granddaughter of the offspring of the union between a brother and his sister.) and an illegitimate child born to the daughter of a "respectable" family in 1860. There was a war starting, ya know.  Only one of these secrets happened in the Knapp family, and that was in an allied family anyway.  I feel like a detective on a very hot case.  Maybe.  If what I feel IS what a real detective on a very hot case feels like.  It's like a tingle of the nerves, and I lose track of time.

But enough about me, on to the Knapps.

So Isaac (in my head I call him DEACON ISAAC KNAPP, for that's how he was listed when I first discovered him back in the '80's.) was born in 1767, as evidenced by the date of death and the age he was when he died that is written on his tombstone, married, had his wife die, then found him another.  Which, by the by, has happened a few times in this family.  I've found him in census records living close by the mysterious Lucious Knapp, who in some trees is said to be his brother.  Is he?  I'd like to ask them.  One of Isaac's sons is named Isaac Palmer Knapp, and that can be documented (by death certificates) as the ancestor to my own Knapper, Bruce Eugene Knapp.  I'd like to have him do DNA testing and put this matter to rest once and for all, but DNA is a tricky thing.  The more I learn of the nefarious uses its information can be used for, the less I'm inclined to pursue that course.  Though I truly believe that Knapper and I will be long-dead before it can come back to haunt us.

I have accumulated an impressive amount of documentation on this family, which is a big "Yay, me!" because I'm doing it all online.  Census records, death certificates, cemetery documents, it's all out there, kids, just waiting to be discovered.  

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