In March of 2016 I retired and began my application to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). I had never been interested in genealogy, but the more I  researched for a patriot, the more I liked what I learned about my ancestors. It didn’t take long until I had an entire tree of names like Bennett, Benz, Clifton, Cook, Downer, Gaddis, Hall, Hanen, Holmes, Hunter, Martin, Maucher, McKean, Personette, Prickett, Reiff, Springer, Strange and  Yelvington for starters. They came from England, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland. My chart looked like a patchwork quilt!

My tree now has almost 8500 people, but there is one who stands out above all the rest. His stories of travel and adventure intrigued me, I felt he was throwing down the gauntlet and daring me to find out more. You are indeed a kindred spirit, James Paul Downer…..