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It was the late 1950s in Columbus, Ohio when I was born to search the past for understanding the present. My first thirteen years were spent growing up on the outskirts, in Gahanna, as the youngest of three children.

On my father's side I am the great great granddaughter of starving Irish emigrants who around 1850 risked their lives for freedom. "Johnny Bulls" were ordered by the British government to shoot anyone trying to flee without permission. To one marriage, my great grandfather would be born in England and become a stowaway who sang and danced his way here.

Involvement in the anti-slavery movement was a family affair; Abraham Lincoln was my 3rd cousin 5th removed. Some had settled in Virginia, yet none were slave owners. [I can no longer say that... '-( ... I just... Jun 2012 ... found one who owned one male slave. So bummed.] As tensions arose, they left their homes in Harpers Ferry for Ohio and for what is now West Virginia.

On my mother's side I descend from nonconformist Scotch-Irish and Welsh Quaker immigrants. It was they, "The Society of Friends," who developed an underground railroad in Belmont County, Ohio. Once across the Ohio River, runaway slaves could go from home to home until they were far enough north to feel safe. The Quaker women instigated the fight to give black men the right to vote in the United States. Though it took 47 years to succeed, this accelerated the courage in many women across the nation to protest, stand, and speak for the same right. "We are people too." Finally, in 1917 women were allowed to vote. (Yes, folks... less than 100 years ago.)

Below is the link to my tree.... Gene M Carr & Martha Lou Michael Family Tree 2012

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