Interesting People

Note: Unless otherwise noted, each person listed here is a direct ancestor.

Emanuel Zeigler (Ziegler): He was the caretaker at the Gettysburg Theological Seminary at the time a famous battle took place. Two of his children were living at home and wrote an account of the battle later in life. You can see Lydia’s story here. You can see Hugh’s story here.

Rev John M. Rice: Graduated from the Gettysburg Theological Seminary around the time of the famous battle, and was present for the battlefield commemoration made famous by President Lincoln’s address. His old rope bed sits in our family room. I sleep in it sometimes when sleep doesn’t come easily.

Zachariah Rice: Served during the Revolution as an engineer and carpenter. He helped build the first military hospital in North America: Yellow Springs Hospital, near Valley Forge in Pennsylvania.

Abigail (Hartman) Rice: Zachariah’s wife. She volunteered as a nurse at Yellow Springs Hospital, caring for some of the sick soldiers from nearby Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78. She’s said to have died of Typhoid Fever, originally contracted caring for soldiers at the hospital. She had 21 children.

Morris Farley: Civil War Veteran, fought at Gettysburg with a Pennsylvania infantry company known as the Pennsylvania Bucktails.

Constance (Hopkins) Snow: Arrived with her father Stephen in 1620 at Plymouth, MA, on the ship: Mayflower.

Jonathan Danforth: One of the first settlers of Billerica, MA (my first home as a child), and one of the most influential land surveyors of northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire of the late 17th century. He may have been the first to survey the land that eventually became the cities Billerica, MA and Nashua, NH (among many others) — the childhood homes of me and my wife.

Stilson Eastman: Fought at the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolution and was supposedly present for the surrender of British General Burgoyne.

Roger Eastman: Arrived on the ship: Confidence in 1638 (MA). His descendants include: Senator Daniel Webster (via son John), poet Robert Frost (via daughter Sarah), inventor George Eastman (via son Joseph), photographer Ansel Adams (via son Nathaniel), and me (via son Philip). What, you may ask, was wrong with Philip? We may never know.

George Washington Knights: From August 1862 until August 1863, he served as a sergeant with the 14th Vermont Infantry during the Civil War. According to Wikipedia, his regiment was one of two that played a pivotal role in the Union repulse of Picket’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Harry Cunningham: OK, Harry was my great grandmother’s brother, so not strictly a direct ancestor, but I had to include him. Everyone knew uncle Harry. He founded K-Mart in 1962. I still have my stock certificates (now pretty much worthless), given to me when I was born, bearing Uncle Harry’s signature (as CEO). From Wikipedia: “Cunningham was credited by Sam Walton as being the first to design a discount store. Walton added that Cunningham should be remembered as one of the leading retailers of all time.” So yes, you can blame the “Blue Light Special,” and the race to the bottom in big box retail (in part) on my family.