At his maternal grandmother's 90th birthday party last week, Mark's self identity became altered. His grandma had brought with her a packet of information on her descendants. What he learned was that Grandma Betty (Dixon), is the great-great-great grand daughter of John Dixon. John and his family of 4 kids hailed from County Tyrone in Ireland before arriving on a boat in New York in 1832.
Information about the Dixons was engrossing and on page 2 were some jarring facts. James (John's son and 1st generation in America) was a Class A Jerk whose wife was able to divorce him in 1880. The list of cruelty and torture of his wife Rhoda of 20some years is long and depressing. I swear their eyes tell a story.
Then there is Mary, (wife to Robert - James' brother) who was listed as "insane" in an 1850 census. Then again, according to the same census, her abusive brother-in-law James was living with them, so maybe she wasn't insane after all. I find it 'funny' how history has a habit of making the women out to be the crazies. Tangent, sorry...
John Julius (James' son) operated a general store in Bluff City and later opened a packet steamboat line in 1905, operating between Peoria and Henry. In 1916 he expanded the packet line to include St. Louis with the steamboat KEYSTONE STATE. Others were successful business men; owning fisheries and homesteads, some were farmers, and Ohio River canal workers.
A cast of characters to be sure, but the main thing is that
THEY WERE IRISH WHO MARRIED OTHER IRISH (AND SCOTS)!
Mark still remains a bit perplexed. I think it's wonderful. Welcome to the Emerald Club.