This magnificent warrior is Quanah Parker, whom many historians call the last great chief of the Comanches. AND he just might be a very distant twig on my family tree!
My son has recently developed a keen interest in genealogy, and has been researching branches of our McGary family tree. Turns out that my 4 times great grandfather, Hugh McGary was married to a woman named Mary Jane Parker. Mary Jane's cousin Cynthia Ann Parker was captured by a Comanche raiding party when she 9 years old, and she was then adopted by a Comanche family who had lost their own child. Cynthia went on to marry the chief of their tribe, and Quanah Parker was their son, who also became chief.
VERY distant relationship I must admit, but still FUN! Many, many years ago, I read the historical novel, Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson, a fictionalized account of Cynthia Ann Parker's life with the Comanches. So I was somewhat familiar with who she and her son Quanah Parker were, but I would never have imagined they might be related even distantly.
Admittedly, my knowledge of my ancestors has been limited to things older family members told me. Now, thanks to the wonders of the internet, my son's research has turned up many interesting things that might or might not be substantiated about our family.
Being Irish on both my mother and father's sides, I naturally assumed some of my ancestors came to America during the terrible Potato Famine of the 1840s when so many Irish immigrants landed here. Looks like I was completely wrong in that assumption. Turns out that Grandpappy Hugh was born around 1815 in North Carolina!
And according to my mother's cousin, one of our mutual xgreat grandfathers sailed from Cork, Ireland in 1832 and settled near the Cumberland Gap in Kentucky. Since I know my maternal grandfather was born in a little Kentucky town near the Cumberland Gap, this sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
So what do you know? No Potato Famine immigrants, but a famous Comanche chief. Those branches on my family tree certainly are tangled!
What about yours? Do you have any "famous" ancestors that you know about?