Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Succession of Polks

I'm sure everyone thinks they have an interesting family tree, but some, of course, are a little more interesting than others.
One of the perks regarding writing about history is I get to dig around the roots of various family trees. Through the process I have determined everyone's tree has extreme high points to brag about as well as that skeleton folks like to talk about in hushed tones. Everyone has a branch of the tree that ends in a strange little cul-de-sac that leaves you scratching your head, and sometimes you find situations that at first creates visions of three-eyed children with horns coming out of their heads, even the family trees of very important people, even important people like U.S. Presidents.
The particular tree I'm speaking of belongs to our 11th U.S. President–James Knox Polk–a tree that has a branch that reaches all the way to Douglasville.

The stories are facinating regarding the Polk family, but some of the connections are a bit suspect at first, and just like many families folks tend to use the same names for their children from generation to generation. At one point this afternoon I had to create a crude family tree on paper just to keep the story straight, and so I knew I was talking about the right person.
First of all it would appear the first Polk arrived on the eastern shore of Maryland sometime in the mid-1600s, and had a son named William who was born about 1700. He ended up in Pennsylvania and married Margaret (Taylor) Polk. They had eight children–William, Deborah, Thomas, Charles, Susan, Margaret, John and Ezekiel. About the time Ezekiel was seven years old the family decided to move south close to where Charlotte, North Carolina is today in Mecklenburg County.
You can finish reading this column over at Douglasville Patch.

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