Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fascinating Ancestors

My  2nd great-grandfather, Diogenes John Mallory- Civil War

I'm a family history buff.   It can't be helped; I was raised on stories of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from ages past, listened with one ear to my mother and grandmother's tales as I played with my siblings and cousins, and came away with an awesome sense of history and how our family lines played their own parts, whether great or seemingly insignificant.

Whether we want it or not, we are always connected to those who came before us, paving the way for our own chance at humanity.   We can learn from their mistakes, take courage from their bravery and use it to better our own lives and families.  

Today, I am inspired by my grandmother's paternal heritage- the Mallory line.  Theirs is a long and colorful history, but I am most intrigued with those who lived here in America.  The first, Peter Mallory, came to this country around 1635 and settled in Connecticut.  He signed the Planter's Covenant in the New Haven Colony in 1644 and became a successful land owner with ten children.  We are descendants of his oldest son, Peter.

Many of the Mallorys emigrated to Canada in the late 1700's.  They settled on land along the St Lawrence River and founded what is now Mallorytown there. They also settled in New Brunswick as well.

Coming down through the family line, we meet up with my great-great Grandfather, Diogenes John Mallory or 'Gene'.  I had only seen a photograph of  him as an old man until recently. 
His Civil War photo is captivating.  He looks to me like a teenage boy, and not unlike many boys today.   I see some of my younger brother in him and a few cousins, as well.  I would like to have known him.

He was born in Michigan, but later moved to Kansas, where he raised a family of eight children. His wife, Sarah Emily De Reemer, my great-great Grandmother and another fascinating ancestor, has a line through her father that goes back seven generations to the Mohawk Indian tribe, part of the Iroquois confederation. 
She died at the young age of 56.  The family loss caused my great-grandfather, just 18, to strike out on his own.
Sarah De Reemer Mallory and Diogenes Mallory

My great-grandfather, Jesse Eugene Mallory-
A handsome man who was a jack-of-all-trades, he was an avid gardener and tree grafter, kept an aviary and raised a family in Oregon.  For a while, he had a barber shop in Oakland, California.  My grandmother, his second daughter, was born in a back room.
I am proud to be his namesake.
Jess Mallory with granddaughter

 Learning about and connecting with my ancestors gives me the sense that they know they are not forgotten.  I know they too, experienced joy and struggled with hardship, laughed, cried, loved and, perhaps most importantly- lived.

 Content copyright © 2013 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I am so intrigued by this post. Diogenes Mallory is my great grandfather. My grandfather Eugene Mallory, is the only son of Diogenes and his third wife, Nannie Eliza Roop. My grandfather was born in 1919 in Kansas when Diogenes was 78 I believe. before my grandfather, Eugene Mallory passed away he wrote a little story about his childhood and what it was like growing up in Kansas. He didn't get to know his dad very well, but there are a few memories about Diogenes in there as well. I would love if you would get back to me. My email is My name is Sara Skidmore. I look forward to hearing from you.


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