Exploring The Monsoon Family History

 Ever since a girlfriend of mine told me she was involved with the group Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR for short), I started to look up the history of my Dad’s father’s side of the family.  Everyone else in the family is pretty much right off the boat but my Dad’s family arrived here in 1646.  While I’m not sure if I’ll be joining this group, it has given me the opportunity to explore the past.  You have to have had at least one relative who is a patriot in this country to join DAR. 

So yesterday I got on ancestry.com and started by typing in my grandfather’s name.  I found myself going backwards in time until about the late 1700s.  There was a section that included pictures like the one I have inserted here that I snagged from the Monsoon family archive, and what struck me right away was the family resemblance that has followed throughout the generations.  It was a bit eerie to say the least, but kind of neat at the same time.

I found things on this particular website that I didn’t find on the DAR site (dar.org).  Many other people have been working on placing the family tree together so I was able to learn from their work.  Most of my Dad’s family hails from New York.  They all have characteristic dark brown/black hair and either green or blue eyes.  I am no different (although the box of Clairol in 08 Golden Wheat used every six weeks would prove differently).

I did trace one relative back to the Civil War and found his military record from the mid-1800s.  He fought for the Union side in the 93rd infantry.  This would be my grandfather’s great-great grandfather.  Pretty interesting stuff.  Guess that means I’d be a shoe-in for DAR.  –If I decide to join. 

While traipsing through the past I also found out some not so nice stuff about my family and their involvement with a not so nice time in US history prior to the 1860s. 

Not much else is really said about them.  I know they were very strictly religious and stern people of the bible thumping variety.  Most were farmers.  We did have a relative named Lucy who liked to dress like a man.  She was shunned by the rest of the family and stowed away in a cabin with another woman whom she lived with until her death.   She has become an icon in the gay & lesbian community.  I think that is kind of neat.  In more recent years a hall was name after a relative at M.I.T.  Before getting married I was asked quite a bit back east if I was of the same relation and I would proudly answer, yes.

These ladies below are also relatives.  I don’t know though.  They don’t look like too much fun.  Apparently they are all sisters.  Much different from the modern day Monsoon sisters I’d have to say.  At least a few of them are smiling.

The Monsoon Sisters

19 thoughts on “Exploring The Monsoon Family History

  1. Great photos… in “those” days it took many minutes to take a photo so people were probably concentrating on keeping still rather than smiling.

    • Thanks Emjay. I didn’t realize it took them a long time to take the actual photo. Guess we’ve really come a long way with our point & shoot cameras these days.

  2. What wonderful pictures and research. In the bottom picture, my guess is that no many people smiled in photos at that time. Most of my old photos have somber looking people but I doubt they were all that way in life 🙂

    • Hi Freedom, I had read somewhere that they had to stand very still and not smile much in those days because it would come out as a blur. I guess their camera equipment wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as modern times.

  3. How very cool! I’ve tried doing the ancestry thing, especially on my dad’s side, because I know virtually nothing about them. No luck, though.
    I bet those ladies can cut it up when they’ve had a tipple of brandy in their tea!

    • Have you tried the ancestry.com site? I was actually quite surprised at their records. My grandmother who will be 90 in a few months, was listed in there. I thought that was really cool.

      Oh, I’m quite certain these ladies would kick up their heels a time or two –especially when the men-folk were out of town. Just a hunch but I’m thinking so! 😉

  4. That is sooooo interesting thank you for sharing. We can trace Mr FD’s amily back to the 16th century but mine is more recent. We know what boat they came out on from Germany in the mid 19th century and little earlier than that. Thank you for sharing.

    Love the photos too. Ample bosoms a family trait too? LOL!

    • That is really cool. LOL! The ample boson fairy seems to have passed over this generation of Monsoon sisters unfortunately, but I’m grateful corsets went out of style about 50 years after that picture was taken. 😉

  5. Wow, that it is actually possible to go back in time like this and still find records. I often wonder, when hearing things like this, whether or not I should give it a go and look how far back I can go.
    Then again – the Americans are so proud of their origin and where their ancestors are coming from, I am guessing there are much more records because of that.

    • You should give it a shot regardless. The site I went to is called Ancestry.com. I went back a second time and found relatives in England dating back to the 1400s. Thats 200 years earlier than when they had history in the US. You never know. 🙂

  6. This is so interesting. Wow…amazing that you were able to learn so much.

  7. elizabethfrank123

    This is cool! It’s great that you found so much stuff 🙂 why wouldn’t you want to join the DAR? i think it might be pretty good 🙂

    • I might. Its just that I have a lot of committments already. I’m not sure if I want to commit to one other thing.

      BTW, this side of my family came from England. Maybe you and I are related. 😉

  8. I like Lucy. She was way cool. I wish she was my ancestor!

  9. That’s really interesting. I have a friend who’s really into family history and also uses ancestry.com.

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