Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Did you know that there are patriots and pioneers in your family history? We all came to America from somewhere and sadly that information is often denied us. But often there is a genealogist in the family and that is true of mine. Sometimes they uncover facts (even siblings!) you'd really rather not know about but that is exciting and enlightening as well. Family research is not for the faint-hearted.

Randy's family is kind of interesting as they think that, being Frantzs, they were Moravians from Austria or Germany. But there is a huge gap in how they came from there to here. Suddenly they were in Ohio, then Texas, and then on an Indian reservation in western Washington but no one can say definitively how they got there. He sometimes laments this but doesn't do anything about it because research is not his thing. I love the fact that in the 19th-century his great-great (more than that) grandparents were really and truly Randolph and Laura Frantz!

I was just perusing my latest treasure from AmazonBooks - an out-of-print gem entitled "In Search of Morgan's Station/The Last Indian Raid in Kentucky" by Harry G. Enoch. As I was flipping through I came to the listing of 18th-century pioneers in that part of Kentucky and was absolutely delighted to find my very own William Blanton listed! I showed Randy proudly which is kind of silly as I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Nor do I know this great-great of mine from Adam. Still it delights me.

I just know these Blantons came from Virginia like so many other Kentuckians and they settled the area called Blanton Flats which still exists in Jackson County. William came into Kentucky in 1792 with his French wife, Nancy, and they had a few slaves (which I am not proud of). In this book he's listed in the Montgomery County tax rolls. The Blantons were among the founding families of Berea, Kentucky. And the Blantons are still in Kentucky today. I think they were able to preserve their family history a little bit better than the Frantz family because they never left Kentucky.

Still, there is so much I want to know. Why did they leave Virginia? Kentucky was still a very dangerous place in the late 18th-century. Did Nancy Blanton like the move? What happened to their slaves? Did they like Kentucky? What was their cabin like? Did it have a spring out back? Were they friendly to Indians or hostile? What did Will Blanton do for a living (farm, I think). Did any of their children die? The infant mortality rate was about 40% at that time from what I understand. So many questions and so few answers. The sad thing is that I'll never know so I just speculate. Maybe that's why I write historical fiction - to fill in the gaps. Only heaven knows what happened back then. But I'd sure love that expansive perspective.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Laura. Wow, it's great that you've got the 2nd book finished and already off the launching pad on the 3rd one. I like editing, but sometimes you do need to give yourself a little distance in order to see the story better. And I got so close to my Hollyhill characters that I almost mourned when I had to stop writing about them and start on some new people. I still miss Jocie and Wes.

    I enjoyed reading your family history and wonderings. Sounds like you've got another story there in that last paragraph with all those interesting questions to answer in your imagination. Enjoy.