Discovering one’s ancestry


I find that looking up your family history and ancestry can be very educational and interesting. I have been amazed by

the information that is out there!

I was able to find information as far back as 790 AD that was from Norway to Ireland to Scotland. My dad always said, “Our families had been run out of the best and worst towns of Europe.”

There are so many stories that I found. One of the stories is very hard to write about. It was about my great, great, great, plus a few more greats, grandfather James Pool.

The story was that he actually invented global warming! It was written that Thomas Jefferson said that James Pool would do almost anything for a dollar. He was a horse trader, farmer, gambler, and one of the best horsemen he had ever met, next to Jefferson’s own personal man servant. Also, that Pool was one of the biggest characters he had ever met.

Thomas Jefferson also noted that James Pool was not a very educated or learned person. But, he made up for his short comings with hard work.

He was one who knew nature and the soil very well.

One story that stuck out was about George Washington and James Pool. My ancestor, James Pool, had leased a grist mill from George Washington. Pool, in a very colorful way, kept from paying his landlord for several months. When it came time to pay the rent for the mill, it had been a year of drought and the crops had failed to grow. The grist mill had not had very much business.

Jefferson said that Pool came up with the darndest reason and the most colorful excuse that only Pool could make up. He told Washington that due to global warming, the crops had failed. Therefore, there were no crops for the grist mill to process. So, there was no rent money to pay the debt.

I have read so many stories that have made me very proud of my family history. I had several ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and many other conflicts throughout history. Great-plus grandparents worked in the Underground Railroad, and we were told that a great-plus grandmother was part Native American. (Not really true.) It turns out that she was an Indian fighter. She helped save her husband during the Indian attack near their home in Marietta, Ohio Territory.

I have to say that finding so much history can be very rewarding. And a lot of fun, as well!

By Loren Pool

Contributing columnist

Loren Pool is a retired Delaware County deputy sheriff.

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