How we all got here...
Typically, when beginning in genealogy, the best place to start is with yourself. So that is where I will begin
- On August 3, 2002 I married Roger Leo Desilets, Jr. I have always had an interest in our family history and genealogies
but also wanted to learn what life was like for each generation. I'm amazed at what I've discovered so far!
I conducted my first search into my ancestry in 2000 after Roger and I began dating and he loaned me a laptop to make
our communication easier (he lived in Columbia at the time and I was in North Charleston). That is when I first met
John "Skip" Coggins, I believe - if I recall correctly - on GenForums (powered by Genealogy.com). He gave me a lineage
from my grandfather, Thomas Carlisle Dandridge to John Phillip Dandridge and more (though not confirmed). The research
fell to the bottom of the priority list until after I was married and had become a stay-at-home mom while pregnant with my
second son (Roger's first), Duncan. I reunited with Skip and have since met many more people and even met distant cousins
I never knew existed!
Going straight down the Dandridge line (my father's side) and following the fathers, I've been able to trace back to
the early 1700s right here in South Carolina's Lowcountry! Dandridge is an English surname and I'm trying to connect
the dots as to exactly who came over from England and if they came in through Virginia (as did the most famous line of Dandridges
that would bring forth the first First Lady, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, or if there is another branch that came to
Charles Town, which one source has eluded to. I have yet to confirm which to a greater percentage of certainty, but
am continually working on it.
I have found documents that have given clues to my Dandridge ancestors' connections to the Revolutionary War on the side
of the Continentals as well as the War for Southern Independence on the side of the Confederacy. I also know that on
the Cercopely side, my paternal grandmother and her sisters were members of the UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy).
I have petitioned the UDC for membership for myself for both Dandridge and Cercopely connections. I hope to be able
to confirm the connection to the Revolutionary War and, if I can, will most certainly petition DAR (Daughters of the American
Revolution) for membership! Another program I am aiming for is the Pioneer Certificate Program for Old St. Bartholomew
Chapter. A good portion of Colleton County was once known as Old St. Bartholomew's Parish as churches were once charged
with what we have in county governments now. They have three levels: Colonist, 1663-1782; Founder, 1783-1860; and Settler,
1861-1930. I'm not positive yet, but I think I can obtain the Colonist Certificate! During that time period, Colleton
County was established and Jacksonboro(ugh) was the Provisional Capital of South Carolina.
On my mother's side, Lowery, most of that genealogy is in the great American South as well. My mom is from Georgia
and her mom is from Texas. My mother's paternal grandmother, a Crittenden, was from Mississippi and may have Cherokee
and/or other native bloodlines (still working to find this as well). My mother's father, James Cleveland Lowery, had
some incredible stories that he told over the years. I'm sure they are more legend than legacy, but fun and interesting
nonetheless. He would say that his paternal grandfather, Newton Lowery, was a pirate and had owned or owned land on Santa Rosa Island. He had a son by a different wife, Jim, that he favored over Grover (James Cleveland's
father) and gave him the land. It was also said that Newton was in
the circus. I've not been able to prove any of this yet - even the existance of
"Jim" (though Newton was married three times - which has been proven). But I love hearing these as it keeps our family
stories colorful and at the same time, makes you wonder…. :-D
Moving to my husband, Roger. He is a third generation American on BOTH sides of his family! His father's name,
Desilets (french for "from the island"), comes to the northern United States milltowns sometime in the late ninteenth
century or early twentith century from Quebec, Canada. Information was given to me by Mr. J. Roger Cloutier that
traces this line from Quebec to Lyon, France in the sixteenth century to Antione Desrosiers (one of his sons, Michel,
added Desilets to his name and it is him my husband descends from). Also, yet to be confirmed to make me comfortable
with the claims, according to FrancoGene
, my husband decends from Charlemange via Louis III
(well, my husband is part French isn't he? LOL) and with that connection can be traced back to Vologases I
of Parthia in the first century AD via Byzantine Emporer Constantine
. Vologases I is supposed to be descended from Ramses as well - yes, I mean Ramses, traditionally viewed as the
Pharoh that ruled during Exodus and did build amazing monuments! Like I said, pretty big claims that I'm not certain
can ever be proven significantly. It's all very interesting, nonetheless and I have enjoyed exploring these royal
connections! My husband's paternal grandmother is from Italian decent, also of a more recent immigration. Her name is
Martinelli and I'm told her father was from Italy.
My husband's mother is a Cadena. Her grandparents hail from Monterrey and Saltillo, Mexico. There is also
Spanish blood as well from ancestor Raphael/Rafael Sancho who immigrated from Spain to the US (possibly through New Orleans)
in the 1800s. Looking at my two youngest children, no one would ever guess they are a quarter Mexican! And though
my husband looks more like his mother, he did not get the dark complexion or eyes (light complexion with red overtones and
dark blue eyes). Most people would never be able to guess he's half Mexican (though recently a latina woman did ask
him if he was!).
While this brief history doesn't even come close to telling the whole story, those are just a few of the highlights
I've found along the way. I've met new people and have new-found distant cousins that I keep in contact with.
Perhaps one day, I can start planning some reunions that would put any turn-of-the-century New Year's celebration to shame!
I am more than willing to share information and documentation. I have notes on copyright rules
as well so that you know what you are getting is okay to share. Also, if anyone has anything to add, please contact me! I'm
always looking for more!
Thank you for taking the time to look at my site! I hope that you can find the information in these pages as invaluable
as I have!
|James Jackson Crittenden 1854-1898
|father of Mary Edith (my mom's pat. grandmother). Photo courtesy Charles McAdams
A little bit on the webmistress
My name is Reagen Dandridge Desilets and I live in Hanahan, SC with my husband and three sons (Matthew, Duncan and Toby)
and mutt (Angel). I conducted my first internet search for ancestry in 2000 and picked it back up again in 2002 through
2004. I had to put it on hold once again and picked up where I left off in 2007 and 2008. I pray that 2009 will
be the most productive year yet, not just in my personal and professional life, but with my genealogy research and goals as
List of Surnames
Under "Dandridge" there are also Cercopely (and its many spellings and its origin as "Hedsorcopli" from Spain), Jacques/Jaques,
Rhode, Bazzel, Langley and more...
Under "Lowery" there are also Crittenden, Lamb, Driver, Byrd, Owen, Hornsby, Gowan, Snider/Snyder/Schneider, Nichols/Nikols,
McManus and more...
Under "Cadena" there are also Sancho, Vialobos and Aguilar... still looking...
Under "Desilets" just a few of the other names include Artault, Forest, Martin, Martinelli, Lemire, Bourg Bourque, Frigon,
Leclerc Fleurant, LeNeuf du Herisson and Trou... there are so many more that I couldn't possibly list them here!
Old world origins include France, Germany, England, Ireland, Prussia and Spain (among others, I'm sure).
Keep reading for more information on these origins!
“In Adversis etiam fide” / “With
faith, even in adversity”
- Dandridge Motto