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DonRocks

The Rockwell Paternal Lineage - Dating Back to the 1500s

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I'll be damned - using the names of my grandparents, findagrave.com, and one Google search which switched me over to paulyfamily.org, I was able to trace my paternal lineage back to the late 1500s in Germany or The Netherlands. I'd always heard that I was related to John Alden, and had relatives come over on the Mayflower; now, I can see the distinct possibility with my own eyes. 
 
This took about 20 minutes total.
 
cLate 1500s Richard Rockwell
c1605 Robert Rockwell
1640 John Rockhould
c1672 Thomas Rockhold
Late 1600s Clarke Rockhould
1709 John Rockhold
1756 Thomas Tolbert Rockwell
1790 Thomas Tolbert Rockwell II
1819 John Thomas Rockwell
1851 John Thomas Rockwell II
1892 Hilleary Cleveland Rockwell
1923 Hilleary Cleveland Rockwell II
1955 Hilleary Cleveland Rockwell III (my older brother)
1961 Richard Donald Rockwell
1997 Matthew Lee Rockwell

One might wonder what in God's name people are doing naming their children "Hilleary Cleveland Rockwell," and what could have been the nerdiest name in history turns out to be the coolest name in history.

When my grandfather was born, he was delivered by Dr. Hilleary, and the United States President at the time was Grover Cleveland. That's pretty awesome (you can also see why my dad was called "Rock," and my brother is called "Rocky" :)).

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This is very cool. I like that you share a name with your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather! 

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This is very cool. I like that you share a name with your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather!

In 1623, Richard Rockwell was father to an 18-year-old, just like Richard Rockwell is now. Except, instead of being father to a clarinet major at Indiana University, there would be no clarinets for another 67 years (1690), Johann Sebastian Bach wouldn't be born for another 62 years (1685), William Shakespeare had died just 7 years before when Rockwell's son was 11 (1616), Rembrandt was 17 years old (1606), Sir Issac Newton wouldn't be born for 20 years (1643), Jan Vermeer wouldn't be born for 9 years (1632), the Taj Mahal wouldn't even be commissioned for 9 years (1632), the first colony in America (Jamestown) was 16 years old, the founding of Indiana University (1820) was further away in the future (197 years) than it now is in the past (196 years), Brooks Robinson wouldn't be born for 314 more years, Galileo was 59, and would live for 19 more years ... it puts so much into perspective, and considering that all of this - *all of it* - is nothing more than a speck of sub-quantum cosmic dust in the eye of the universe, it is indescribably humbling. I am well-aware of my place in the grand scheme of things, and always will be.

But it's still really cool. It's really a damned shame we're self-aware, because there's *so much* interesting stuff out there to learn, but the knowledge all fades away when you fade away. A strong case, perhaps, for a kinder, gentler Skynet. :)

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Except, instead of being father to a clarinet major at Indiana University, there would be no clarinets for another 67 years (1690).

Since this is a thread about ancestry, there is an interesting ancestral connection here.  I assume Matt is at the Bloomington campus of IU.  If you were to go to the little church in the middle of the campus, in the cemetery, you would find some gravestones of ancestors of mine (or at least short branches off the direct line)(or so I have been told by relatives--I haven't seem them myself).  Small world.

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I was named after my uncle, Don Finlay. I'd always heard rumors that "he invented the Gradall," which I dismissed as being apocryphal. 

"The Gradall Legend" on gradall.com

Yep, my uncle Don and his company built the very first Gradall in 1944.

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Don -- I owe you a massive debt. Thanks to your mention of the findagrave website, I've just gotten details about my double first cousin, once removed, David E. Wells, who was killed in Italy in WW2. In about five seconds I learned more about him than I had known for the past 50 years.

He was my dad's favorite cousin. My dad learned of his death while serving in the Pacific. A letter he wrote to his cousin was returned  stamped "RETURN TO SENDER -- ADDRESSEE DECEASED." Ah, bureaucracy.

David Wells.jpg

David Wells 2.jpg

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