Saturday, November 01, 2008

Did they get involved? Umm, not so much.

While growing up, politics was a subject that was not discussed with us kids. If my parents discussed their preferences, it was not when we were around. But the likelihood that they were Republicans is fairly strong. Me? I'm neither Republican nor Democrat. I tend to not vote along party lines, rather voting for the individual I think is best suited for the job at hand.

In looking back into the time since our nation was founded, I discovered just three relatives who held elected office.
  • John Brubaker (1819-1879), 3rd great grandfather: "He, with twelve others, built the first school house in the district where he died. . . Mr. Brubaker has been identified with all enterprises tending to improve the material interest of our county. At the October election of 1866, he was elected county commissioner, performed the duties of his office with fidelity and to the very best interest of our county."
  • William Hamilton Dunfee (1822-1888), 3rd great grandfather: "He filled the office of county and township assessor acceptably and in 1856 was elected sheriff and re-elected two years later. He was a very popular officer as well as a popular man. At the time of his death Mr. Dunfee had the contract of carrying the mails from this post office to Cromwell. Mr. Dunfee was a staunch democrat and a jovial whole-souled fellow. News of his death will cause a feeling of sorrow in all parts of the county."
  • Price Goodrich (1799-1891), brother of my 4th great grandmother Abigail Goodrich Joslin: He served two terms as Whitley County commissioner and one term as probate judge.
Among the men who cast their votes at the first election in Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana in on July 4, 1839 were Price Goodrich and his father Bela as well as James Joslin. Price was an inspector at that election where twelve votes were cast.

It seems that the majority of my ancestors who lived after the Revolutionary War had an aversion to becoming involved in politics and local government. I think some of them went out of their way to avoid having to hold office. They were farmers and more concerned with their own enterprises; somewhat distrustful of government officials.

On the other hand, many of the ancestors I've found who lived during the Revolution and in the Colonial era seemed to accept, if not actively seek out public office. They were Lieutenants and Captains of their militia, moderators of meetings, surveyors of highways, and deacons in their church.

Submitted to the 59th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy :: Politics and Our Ancestors

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