Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Part 5: Genealogy is what I do; Swamp Land

My dad told me a story that he remembered from reading his grandfather's Family Bible. he said that one of our ancestors wanted a horse so he could join the army as an officer. In  order to purchase the horse he sold a piece of swamp land. Later this land was part of the site where the city of Rochester, NY was built.
This is a good example of family tradition handed down and altered with the telling.
I found a similar story in the book written by some of the family in the early 1900s in New York for a family reunion.
In this version of the story my ancestor owned horses and someone wanted to trade a piece of land he owned in order to buy one of these horses, so he could join the army. My ancestor looked at the piece of land and found that it was swamp land, so he did not buy it. This story also says that the land is where current day Rochester, NY is.
Both of these stories were written down around the same time, but they both depend on memories passed down over a couple generations.
Which one is true? Is there any evidence for either story?
I later found out that my ancestor Philip Price did own horses. As a matter of fact there is a record in Maryland calling his land there a plantation and telling that he lost 30 horses in a plague. This is several years before he moved to Rush, New York, but he may still have had horses in NY. Who knows!

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