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ShenValGrl - Home In The Valley

Updated August 19, 2011

Melissa Lester
ShenValGrl@yahoo.com

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I started researching my family history about nineteen years ago. I started out of curiosity. I wondered if somewhere along the line, could I be related to someone famous. I wondered what secrets could be lurking in the family closet.
I have since discovered that my roots take me back to Germany. His name was Lorenzo Frederick Smith I; a Hessian Soldier; who came to the States to fight in the American Revolutionary War. His unit was surrendered by Cornwallis to General George Washington. He then spent time in a military prison.
Upon his release, he settled in Loudon Co. Virginia, and married Christine Agatha Sunifrank. After starting their family, they moved on to Rockingham Co. where they settled in Bennett's Run. The Smith's of my family have basically stayed in this area. We also have Smith's in Hardy Co. WV.
I found that I had several ancestor's who fought for the Confederacy in the American Civil War. I've had ancestors fighting in both World Wars. I have even discovered an ancestor who committed murder(he was tried and convicted).

I have done alot of my research on the internet; scrolling through countless bulletin boards; census reports; family web pages; etc. I have stuck my nose into countless old; dusty; and musty books at the local libraries. I have hiked through countless cemeteries. I have called family and stranger's to pump them for information. I think I have come a long way...

I am also researching my husband's family. His family came to the States from Ireland and Scotland; living for a short time in NY; then southern VA before settling into KY and southern IN; where they remain today. We even discovered that my husband; through his G-Grandmother, is distantly related to the outlaw Jesse James.

Surnames for my family are: SMITH--MONGOLD--SEE--GOCHENOUR--STRAWDERMAN--MAY--SUNIFRANK-SONIFRANK-FUNKHOUSER-LINK

Surnames for my husband's family are: LESTER--ANDERSON--JACKSON--HARVEY--WHEET(WHEAT)--WHITE--GRIDER(GRYDER), DYCHE, PINER, WADDELL(WADDLE)(WEDEL), COLE, JAMES



When we live each day of our life; we must remember that everything we do and say will one day be discovered. The way we want to be remembered when we are gone depends on how we lived our life when we were alive. I don't know about you, but, I want my future generations to be proud of me and treat my memory with dignity and respect and honor.


Thank you for visiting my site. I hope you enjoyed your visit.
If you can give me additional information on my families who are listed above; please contact me.

HAVE A GOOD DAY AND GOD BLESS YOU!!!



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