Thursday, August 11, 2011

Marching With General Braddock

OK, so I pretty much trashed General Edward (see he does have a first name) Braddock a couple of posts ago. And while this newbie still struggles with military history, I am getting the hang of it: learned that it must be read with utmost attention to all details and pictured in the mind's eye.

The way Braddock ties in to my family history is that one of our Revolutionary War ancestor's Nehemiah Newans came to the colonies under Braddock's command, or so it's thought. I'll know it for sure when I see the paperwork;)

The crazy part about this genealogy research thing is that often I find that just when I'm looking for one item a related item pops up out of nowhere in some unexpected place. Or information bits cluster around the same topic and appear in the same time frame. You ever open a book and find exactly what you're looking for? Like that: serendipity.

So I'm Googling around looking for Martin's Plantation. When I was back east and visiting Mom in Western Maryland this spring I noticed a historical site marker about Martin's Plantation. I must have passed that marker a thousand and one times throughout my life. But out of the blue I thought about it last night and wondered what Martin's Plantation was. Was it a real working plantation? 

I Googeled "Martin's Plantation" just for fun. Here's where I went: http://www.wmdhistory.org/braddocks-road/braddock-road-south-of-frostburg.php and "The Search for Braddock's Road Through Frostburg, MD". Here's a picture of the historical marker: http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=440

See how that worked out? I'm interested in General Braddock right now and then happened to Google Martin's Plantation out of nowhere and find it's related to Braddock in a very personal way for me. That's exciting!

It's funny how my interest in genealogy takes me down many lanes into history. And this particular history adventure was about Braddock and his road and how he had to build it as he went along so that the cannons and supply wagons could get to where they needed to go. Braddock built the road out of the wilderness -- a hundred and ten miles long starting in Cumberland, MD-- and built it well enough that it could stand a real beating by the supply wagons and artillery. And guess who his aide-de-camp was? George Washington! Why? Because The Father of Our Country knew the territory. And if that's not enough excitement for you, then know that Daniel Boone was one of Braddock's wagoners! Cool, huh?

The funny part is that Braddock's road likely took him right the heck through my old home place! So my ancestor Nehemiah Newans saw what was later to be the little town of Frostburg in Western Maryland and home place of all my people. So for that, much respect to you, General Edward Braddock and your wonderful road, still called to this day, "Braddock's Road". Way ta go!

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