Friday, March 25, 2016

Discovering Rob Roy McGregor Hall, Our Cousin

I'm grateful that I'm so easily impressed. A few years ago I discovered that my husband and I each had cousins who married each other. You may think that's a common occurrence, but it was stunning to me, as we seem to come from different worlds. Larry is originally from Pennsylvania, with ancestors from England and Scotland. He grew up traveling the world, attending the Methodist church and living what I call an exciting and adventurous life. On the other hand, I'm a Kansas native, descendant of Germans from Russia, from Germany, and immigrants from the United Kingdom. I was raised a strong Lutheran and lived a very quiet life in the same town until I was 40 years old. Quiet and still by comparison to Larry's life. A world opposite of my husband's. So when I find that we had cousins who lived in the same proximity and even married each other, I'm just astounded. I wonder "How did that happen?" It happened because we both had ancestors in Pennsylvania.

My first cousin, 5 generations back was Isaac Strait, born 1793 in Bedford, Pennsylvania and died 1872 in Palmyra, Illinois. Isaac was married to Phebe Rush, who was born in 1802 in Amwell, Pennsylvania and died 1884 in Palmyra, Illinois. Phebe was Larry's 5th cousin 5 generations back. 

These charts show each of our relationships with their great grandson Rob Roy McGregor Hall.
Larry is an 8th cousin twice removed of Rob Hall. I am a 4th cousin twice removed of the same Rob Roy McGregor Hall. 

As I dug a little deeper to learn something of this Rob Hall, I learned that along with about 350 others, he died as a result of a shipwreck of the steamship "SS Princess Sophia" on 25 October 1918. The ship left Skagway, Alaska for Vancouver, BC on 23 October 1918 and wrecked on the waters of Lynn Canal at Vanderbilt Reef near Juneau, AK as the result of a storm. A very good account of this tragedy can be found here.
Rob Roy MacGregor Hall was 42 years old at the time of his death. 

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