Ever since High School I've been attracted to my family origins, particularly as they pertain to my maternal roots.
I found it fascinating that during the Civil War era, my maternal great-grandfather and two of his brothers removed to Virginia from Maryland to be more closely aligned with Confederate sympathizers there, and to join their cause. So, a term paper presented to a High School Civics teacher was richly rewarded because it contained a link to my great-grandfather and his brothers in a story handed down by the MacAtee's.
On their second night out to join the Confederate Army they stopped at the Surratt boarding house in Maryland because it was a well known fact that the Surratt's were southern sympathizers. At dinner that night were the "boys" (my ancestors), Mr. and Mrs. Surratt, their daughter Annie, and a stranger to the boys. Mr. Surratt and the stranger were warning Annie about her companion of the afternoon with whom she had been driving. They were worried that her companion was a northern spy.
After the "boys" had retired for the night, Mr. Surratt came in to tell them a gentleman had arrived who would occupy the other bed and for them not to be alarmed. The latecomer was a handsome man with black hair and dark eyes, heavily armed, and had come from Richmond, VA; their destination. Said man was gone the next morning when the "boys" joined Mr. and Mrs. Surratt, their daughter Annie, and the other guest for breakfast. After breakfast Miss Annie Surratt went into an adjoining room to play the piano and sing rebel songs before the boys departed with Mr. Surratt in his wagon. On the way they passed a man driving a sulky and were told by Mr. Surratt that he was Dr. Mudd.
Later in life my great-grandfather would recall how he and his brothers had come so close to two prominent players in the unfolding of one of America's greatest tragedies. The assassination of Abraham Lincoln. For more on the Surratt House go here:
During the Civil War my great-grandfather was wounded in the leg at the battle of Gettysburg, developed gangrene and was saved, only to be captured before the surrender and held prisoner of war until August 1865.
Of course, in retrospect, that High School term paper was the seed for what has grown into a passion for genealogical research, the culmination of which can be found in my genealogical database titled MacAtee/McAtee and Allied Families at RootsWeb.com (just click on the website at the bottom of this bio below) as well as memorials found here at Findagrave.
I now know that the MacAtee's (my maternal ancestors) come from a very old and established line of Irish ancestors that first immigrated to America in the mid-17th century after landing in Maryland. The rest is fascinating history as told by my RootsWeb database described above and shown below. This rich American heritage allowed me join The Daughters of the American Revolution.