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Christopher Padgett (#48231378)
 member for 3 years, 8 months, 9 days
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Bio Photo Hello. I'm an 8th generation Louisvillian and Kentuckian. My pedigree includes recent immigrants from the Old World to pioneers who settled America in the 1600s and everything in between. Here are a few examples:

1. Two of my maternal 4th great-grandfathers fought in the American Revolution. Dutch immigrant Andrew Kimbley, served under General George Rogers Clark and lived on Corn Island. His life is documented in the Draper Manuscripts. Virginia native Thomas Bailey, was part of his cousin and then General George Washington's Life Guard. Following his war service, he declined a pension owed to him by the government, like many Revolutionary War veterans, because he felt service was the patriotic thing to do and the infant country didn't need to carry the burden of his pension.

2. My paternal 4th great grandmother, Rosina Dautt, was a German immigrant and charter member of the Harmony Society. My paternal 2nd great-grandfather, Bernard Ringswald, was a German immigrant who fought as a "Rough Rider" under then Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt during the Spanish-American War. After the war, he worked as the head doorman of the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville and then the Sinton Hotel in Cincinnati.

3. Artists and craftspeople figure significantly in my family tree. My paternal grandmother, Mary Lee Zweydorff Padgett, was an accomplished painter. She didn't begin painting until the age of 50. My maternal grandfather, Charles Bailey, was a talented furniture maker who worked for a number of furniture manufactures, including the Consider H. Willet Company, and was recognized during his career as one of the best furniture restorers in Louisville. My late father, Howard Richard Padgett, was a union sheet metal foreman and played a part in the construction of Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch in St. Louis (the world's tallest arch and tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere).

4. My Padgett ancestors came to Kentucky from Maryland after it became violently anti-Catholic and were part of a large wave of Maryland Catholics that settled in Kentucky in the late 18th and early 19th century. They settled at the confluence of Otter Creek and Dry Branch on land that remained in the family for five generations near a geographic area named Woodland. In the 1930s, the U.S. government seized/forced them to sell to build present day Ft. Knox. They were paid pennies on the dollar for the real value of their property and suffered enormous trauma and harm as a result of this process.

5. My Bailey ancestors came to Kentucky from Virginia after it became violently anti-Baptist. They originally settled in Hardin County on Clear Creek, after moving from Orange, Virginia, where they were next door neighbors with James Madison (who tried to get them to remain in Virginia). Madison was a vocal advocate for religious tolerance and fought against the religious harassment of Baptists in Virginia.

6. My paternal 3rd great grandfather, Michael Josiah Whelan, Jr., founded the town of Flaherty, Kentucky. He fled Ireland during one of the potato famines. His daughter-in-law, my 2nd great grandmother, Sarah Ellen Bryan, was a vocal suffragette and organized like minded women in Hardin and Meade County, Kentucky to advocate for women to have the right to vote.

7. I have a shared ancestor with 22 U.S. presidents. Each of the following are cousins: John Adams, James Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Chester Arthur, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Gerald Ford through my father's (Padgett) line and George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Garfield, Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama through my mother's (Bailey) line. Coincidentally, I am a cousin to Michelle Obama through my mother's line and a cousin to Mary Todd Lincoln through my father's line.

Each of us has a unique family history waiting to be discovered. The more we learn about our ancestors, the more we can understand our own identity: who we are, where we came from, and why certain values have meaning for us.

My family tree surnames include: Allen, Anthony, Ash, Aubrey, Bailey, Berryman, Blanford, Blandford, Bowers, Bromley, Brown, Bryan, Carrico, Coomes, Cowherd, Crume, Cundiff, Cunningham, Dautt, Davis, DeTemple, Fischer, Fitzpatrick, Folsom, Gates, Gentry, Goodman, Hamilton, Hill, Howe, Key, Kimbley, Kirtley, Klein, Lampkin, Leavitt, Lucas, Mahoney, Manning, Mattingly, Mayer, McIntire, McMillen, Millan, Millen, Mitchell, Morrison, Nall, Oliver, Padgett, Pearson, Pindell, Ray, Reid, Ringswald, Rolfes, Rutledge, Sanborn, Skeeters, Smith, Tanner, Tenley, Toon, VanMeter, Webster, Wheatley, Whelan, Whitworth, Willet, Wimsett, Young, Zweidorf, Zweydoff, and Zweydorf. If you have one of these surnames in your family tree, it's possible we are cousins.

I am a member of the Kentucky Genealogical Society (

Here are a few other good resources if you are just beginning to learn about your family history:

1. Family Search - a free resource to document your family tree:

2. Ancestry DNA - a DNA test can help you learn more about yourself, connect with cousins you didn't know you had, possibly help an adoptee discover their real birth parents, and potentially reveal secrets in your family tree that may have been taken to the grave by others:

3. BYU Family History Library YouTube channel - You can view excellent free videos to help you learn family history tips and best practices:

4. Kentucky Historical Society (Frankfort, KY):

5. Filson Historical Society (Louisville):

6. Sons of the American Revolution (Louisville):

If you have any questions or edits to what I've created, or would like a memorial transferred to you, feel free to message me.

Photography: Feel free to use any photographs I have taken and placed on the site for personal family history purposes. Please use the following source attribution: Photo courtesy of Christopher G. Padgett. If you would like to use one of my photographs in a published work that you intend to sell to others, please contact me first for permission. I will grant it, but will expect to receive a copy of your published work as compensation for the use of the photographs I have shared.

"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die."- Thomas Campbell
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