Guns and Gods in My Genes: A 15,000-mile North American search through four centuries of history, to the Mayflower

Guns and Gods in My Genes: A 15,000-mile North American search through four centuries of history, to the Mayflower

by Neill McKee

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Overview

Bronze Medal - Readers' Favorite 2021 International Book Awards - Non-Fiction Genealogy

Winner of New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards 2021 for non-regional Biography and finalist in History, Travel, and Cover Design

Neill McKee, author of the award-winning travel memoir Finding Myself in Borneo, takes the reader through 400 years and 15,000 miles of an on-the-road adventure, discovering stories of his Scots-Irish ancestors in Canada, while uncovering their attitudes towards religion and guns. His adventure turns south and west as he follows the trail of his maternal grandfather, a Canadian preacher who married an American woman in Wisconsin, and braved the American Wild West. Much to his surprise, McKee finds his American ancestors were involved in every major conflict on North American soil: the Civil War, the American Revolution, and the French and Indian War. In the last chapters, McKee discovers and documents his Pilgrim ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower, landing at Plymouth in 1620, and their Puritan descendants who fought in the early Indian Wars of New England. With the help of professional genealogical research, he tracks down and tells the stories of the heroes, villains, rascals, as well as, the godly and ordinary folk in his genes, discovering many facts and exposing myths. He also lets readers in on a personal struggle: whether to apply for Canadian-United States dual citizenship or remain only a Canadian.

The author employs vivid descriptions, dialogue, poetic prose, historic poetry, analytical opinion, and over a hundred photos and illustrations. For example, in a detective-like investigation he takes the reader back to the scenes his preacher grandfather encountered in Newcastle, Wyoming, during 1905-06-then a town with a two-story brothel across the street from his church, as well as a sheriff who owned a saloon with a dance hall, and carried a gun with 20 notches on its handle. McKee visits some of the exact places his ancestors fought and were wounded or killed. He describes encounters with exuberant historians clad in period costumes in ancient forts, and humorous interactions with actor-educators playing the part of Pilgrims at the reconstructed Plymouth Plantation. He takes the reader on serendipitous happenings, such as meeting a distant cousin who's a flower farmer in Western New York State and who has studied their mutual family history in the US and England, dating back twenty-eight generations to the Norman invasion. Throughout the chapters, McKee discovers the importance of following female lines of descent in genealogical research. He also documents socio-religious values and trends, the history of settlement and its impact on North America's indigenous people, as well as the increasingly strict gun control in Canada, compared to the opposite in USA.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781732945739
Publisher: Nbfs Creations LLC
Publication date: 12/11/2020
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Neill McKee is a creative nonfiction writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo, won a bronze medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, 2020, as well as other awards. McKee holds a Bachelor's Degree, from the University of Calgary and a Master's Degree in Communication from Florida State University. He worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for social change. He directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos and multimedia initiatives, and has written numerous articles and books in the field of development communication. During his international career, McKee worked for Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO); Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC); UNICEF; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; Academy for Educational Development and FHI 360, Washington, DC. He worked and lived in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, he settled in New Mexico, using his varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xii

The Author's Genealogical Map. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xv

Sites Visited in the Eastern United States and Canada. . . . . . . . . . xvi

Sites Visited in the Midwest and Western United States. . . . . . . . . .xvii

1. The Ceremony and the Massacre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2. Return to the McKee Family Farm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

3. Revisiting the Wild Country. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

4. The Neill Family and My Connection to the USA. . . . . . . . . . . 51

5. My Neill Grandparents in the Midwest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67

6. Reverend Neill in the Aftermath of Wounded Knee. . . . . . . . . 81

7. My Grandparents' Wyoming Sojourn and Retreat. . . . . . . . . .103

8. The Haskins Family and the Civil War. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123

9. Allegany County, New York: Ancestral Connecting Point. . . . .143

10. Abel Robinson in the Hudson Highlands and Vermont. . . . . . . .151

11. Joseph Stevens in the American Revolution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167

12. My Ancestors in the French and Indian War. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

13. Discovering a "Rowdy" Ancestor in Connecticut. . . . . . . . . . . . . 205

14. Finding Some "Godly" Ancestors in Massachusetts. . . . . . . . . . .223

15. Humorous Conversations at Plimoth Plantation. . . . . . . . . . . . . .243

16. Finding Four Indian Fighters in My Genes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261

17. To Be or Not to Be...an American. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281

Tables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297

1. McKee Family Tree in Canada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297

2. Excerpt from the Final Will of William McKee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298

3. John and Ellen Neill Family Tree in North America. . . . . . . . . . 299

4. Neill McKee's Haskins Ancestry, Part 1: 1735-1966. . . . . . . . . . 300

5. Neill McKee's Stevens Ancestors in North America. . . . . . . . . . 301

6. Neill McKee's Hoskins/Haskins Ancestry, Part 2, 1600-1760. . . 302

7. Summary of the Will of Anthony Hoskins I. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303

8. Robinson Family and related families in the author's

New England Genealogy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304

Chapter Notes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307

Selected Readings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329

About the Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333

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