Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Rasputin was my neighbor, he said
History, is as much about the history of families and towns, the everyday, as it is about the exploits of Kings and statesmen. There are an awfully lot of family and local stories that have great significance. and an awfully lot of them that are more fiction than fact, and sometimes just embroidered on. In my family there are a few, one that my great, great, great, grandfather came to this country with the Hessian's, and was among the troops defeated by Washington on that long ago Christmas night, the Hessian part is true, the rest who knows. another is that my great grandfather enlisted in the the Union army when he was 12, he was tall for his age, this part is true, that he served as part of Lincolns personal guard because of his size, probably not. I have told this one many times before that a foreign priest who claimed to be Rasputin came to this area and founded a Catholic Church and was a friend of our mostly Methodist family. I don't really believe the Rasputin part even though the timing was right. I recently told this story to some one who remembered that her great grandparents claimed to know the same man, soon I found several other families that had a similar story, one even showed me a very faded cabinet card. photo. However they couldn't even agree on which man was their great grandfather in that photo. What follows, though is a whole lot more accurare.