Genealogy is an old hobby of mine. One that I haven’t spent too much time on recently.
On my Dad’s side I’m Irish (Moore family goes back to the Irish lords of Leix), German (Spangler family goes back to 12th Century Crusader), Jewish (Shaltiel family goes back to the House of David), among other lines. And on my Mom’s side I’m German (Hahn family goes back to Prussian fowlers), Welsh (Vaughn family goes back to Pre-Saxon Britain), and English (St. John family goes back to Elizabethan era peerage), among other lines.
Three people stand out at the moment. Probably because they all fought in the Civil War.
One member of the Spangler family who came over from Germany as a teen and served as a Union Army officer in the War of Northern Aggression (I have to get my digs in). He presumably came over in the late 1840s after all the unrest and revolutions in Europe. The Union Army was full of such immigrants. Many of them were socialists. Some of those were officers.
One member of the Shaltiel family was living in Louisiana at the time the Civil War broke out. He became an officer in the Confederate Army. He was also a spy and was captured by a Union outpost but later made his escape and became a mining magnate and Newspaper tycoon in Colorado after the war.
And one member of the St. John family was hanged as a war criminal for being a member of the Quantrill Raiders. They were quite the hands at guerrilla warfare, what some might call terrorism. Other members of this group included William Quantrill, “Bloody” Bill Anderson (he was so bad that people wear his face on t-shirts to this day), the James Brothers (Frank and Jesse), and yes, Josey Wales and Reuben Cogburn.