The topic for the 59th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: “Politics and Our Ancestors” in honor of Voting Day. As I thought about this, I knew that I had several ancestors and collateral family members who had served in politics as well as members who were quite vocal in their political affiliations.
My paternal great-grandfather’s brother, George Washington Amore, was a Democrat and served as an Assessor for Linton Township in Coshocton County for three terms in the 1890′s. In 1909 he ran for Mayor of Plainfield, Ohio. George’s son-in-law, John D. Woodward, a respected man of Coshocton County, pledged his allegiance to the Democratic party, but held no public office. (Source information from “History of Coshocton County, Ohio: Its Past and Present, 1740-1881″. Compiled by N.N. Hill, Jr.; Newark, Ohio; A.A. Graham & Co., Publishers; 1881; Carlon & Hollenbeck, Printers & Binders, Indianapolis, Ind.)
My great-aunt (Louisa Clementine Amore Baker) was married to Benjamin Baker who was a Justice of the Peace in Coshocton, Ohio before 1919. (Source information from his obituary published in ”The Coshocton Tribune”, Coshocton, Ohio, Page 8, May 21, 1936)
My maternal grandfather, Glen Roy Johnson, Sr., was elected to the Fairfield (now a part of Fairborn), Greene County, Council in 1936 and was instrumental in getting a sewage plant builtHe was a Democrat in his younger years and in his later life affiliated with the Republican party. He met Richard Nixon about 1972-1973 when he was in Washington D.C. and toured the White House. (Source information – personal knowledge)
My first cousin, four times removed, John Goul (son of Christian and Ruth Lawson Goul, grandson of my 4th great-grandfather), first vote was cast for John Charles Fremont – the first candidate of the Republican party - who ran against James Buchanan. John also voted twice for President Lincoln and although he was sought after to run for office in his locale, he refused to have his name put up for any political office. John’s father, Christian Goul, was a Whig until the formation of the Republican party and then became a life-long Republican. (Source information from “Beers History of Champaign County, Ohio”)
My grandmother’s brother, John Alfred Wilt, was a Republican. (Source information – Vesta C. Johnson)
My 2nd cousin, 3 times removed, George Lewis House, served on the Deshler, Ohio city council and the school board before 1906. His political affiliation is unknown. (Source information: Jeromey Ward)
My 9th great-grandfather, Richard Treat (d. 1669), represented the settlement of Wethersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut in the first general court in 1637; was a Colonial grand juror in 1643; elected to the general court in 1644 (and was re-elected many times); and was an Assistant Magistrate of the Colony from 1658-1665. (Source information from “The Hollister Family in America”. Compiled by Lafayette Wallace Case M.D.; Chicago, Fergus Printing Company; 1886).
My maternal grandmother, Vesta Christena Wilt Johnson, was born prior to the passage of the 20th Amendment. She voted in almost every election after that. My parents have both voted Democratic most of their lives.
When I was in 6th grade and Richard Nixon was running for his second term in office, I pasted Nixon/Agnew stickers on my bedroom door so my mom had to see them each time she walked by. So when Nixon won over McGovern, I teased her mercilessly. Needless to say, during the Watergate scandal, she had the last laugh over me. I have voted both Democratic and Republican since I turned 18 and don’t consider myself affiliated with either party. I am a proponent of voter rights and urge others to vote in order to have a voice in the future of our great nation. I thoroughly believe that our forefathers and foremothers fought long and hard – either on the battlefield, in elected offices and as Suffragettes – in order to give us that right. It should not be something we turn our nose up and deny because apathy solves nothing. To be part of the solution, I believe – as so many of my ancestors – that we must all be active in the future of our community, our school, our city, our state, and our national government – either by voting or running for office in order to affect the change we look toward.