What we know of our our ancestors shows they often led interesting lives and participated in community affairs.  Unfortunately, little is known about the women in this genealogy other than most lost any assets at marriage and experienced innumerable childbirths.

To read some of the most interesting accounts of men who were our great-grandfathers of various generations use the links below to read these biographies.  Fifteen are from my maternal line with one from my paternal line and five from the Schmidt line.  With two exceptions, these ancestors were excellent people who were the epitome of resilience, strength, hard work and courage.  Some were related by marriage, and some living in the same geographical place and time sat in court in judgment of the other. From records some things are known about these men while other characteristic perhaps equally important are unknown:

  • One had a TV show produced about him.
  • Three had inns in their homes.
  • Three would have inherited land had they returned to Great Britain, and one did return for that purpose. 
  • Three interacted with President George Washington -- one selling him land and two were his home remodelers.
  • Three, including two convicts, came to America as indentured servants and rose quickly to become successful.
  • Four were apprentices -- two as hatters and two as cloth workers, the latter two being in prestigious guilds.
  • Six were very religious.
  • Ten were in the military.
  • Twelve were immigrants of whom two were convicts transported for stealing clothes and poaching wildlife.
  • Twelve were in public service -- five extensively.
  • Twelve of the thirteen American residents were small or large slave owners, depending on their land holdings.
  • Fourteen were wealthy -- three extremely so -- thus more is known about them. The wealthiest men included two of our least desirable ancestors.

Among them, these men had many professions including minister, brew master, wood carver, joiner, miller, career military, 2 hatters, 2 shipping merchants, 2 judges, 2 mayors of London, 4 sheriffs including 2 serving as sheriff of London, 3 state burgesses, 4 knights, 5 lawyers, 6 other merchants including cloth and tobacco, and 9 landowners ranging from middle-class to gentleman with 46,000 to 75,000 acres.

Because most of these men were generally leaders of their time, their descendants were repeatedly named after them. Visiting Snow Hill, MD or Lexington, VA in person or on the internet will provide an idea of the environment the Americans lived in.

Ancestors of Virginia Winslett

Shenandoah Mountains, Virginia

Provided fertile acreage when the land was opened to settlement.

Alexandria City, Virginia

Significant port city attracting the skilled and merchant class & providing a social haven for the wealthy.

Eastern Shore of Virginia & Maryland

An entry point for immigrants beginning in the 1600s with land opportunities


Opportunity for religious freedom & land in the mid-1700s


Opportunities for moving up through the artisan and military class to leading societal positions.

Ancestors of Gerald Schmidt

in Europe & America