I’ve heard lots of stories about my family, both maternal and paternal. My last living aunt on my father’s side has told me stories of how mean the Spanglers were. Stories of those who chopped off someone’s arm, one who killed a man and drank his blood, and one of a man who killed someone and got away with it because he knew a lawyer who was close to a judge! Those kinds of stories you think you really don’t want to persue because it’s not something you would really want to publish even if it was true.
There are some stories, however, that are worth pursuing and writing about. Things that are very interesting and you would like to confirm as being true. On my maternal side I have heard stories of some who helped with the Underground Railroad, one who was killed in Louisiana because of this commitment, and stories of one who was forced into service as a Confederate soldier only to escape and later join the Union army. I’ve yet to find evidence on most of these things and I gather it would be hard to confirm because there really isn’t a list of volunteers for the Underground Railroad and the one killed in Louisiana was supposedly buried in an unmarked grave!
The latest story I have heard and would like to confirm is concerning my grandfather, George Charles Forbes. I’ve always considered him as being a down-to-earth person who just struggled to make ends meet for his family after my grandmother died at the age of 36. Lately I have heard a story from my uncle that my grandfather was in a movie with Hoot Gipson, albeit just as a supporting cast member. He has also told me stories of my grandfather playing baseball with Babe Ruth. I find these hard to believe because I don’t see how my grandfather could have crossed paths with Babe Ruth in East Texas! I have also been unable to confirm that the movie that they mentioned he was in with Hoot Gipson ever even existed. I’ve currently misplaced the info on the title but earlier searches have led me to nothing.
The strange thing about most of this is that when I mention these stories to my aunts and my other uncle they just kind of nod their head in agreement. It’s like they know it to be true but no one has any evidence to back it up. It would be interesting to prove some of these stories but I really don’t know how to prove any of them.
The dilemma I encounter is whether I should include any of these stories when writing down my family history. Are they pertinent? Should I include them so that they don’t die and perhaps some future researcher could find evidence that I have been unable to uncover? I have just about purposed in my heart that I will begin a new section on my family web site that will keep these stories fresh. Who knows what someone else may be able to uncover.
If I am successful in the future in finding info to prove these stories I will publish that on this blog. I would love to prove them to be true, except maybe those stories of my Spangler ancestors!