Friday, September 2, 2011

Davey Crockett in China?

Well... Davey Crockett didn't make it to China--but his descendant did!  I've long regretted knowing so little about my ancestry.  I know Chinese who can trace their roots back over 35 generations, but until 5 years ago, I did not know my own roots further than two generations.  So imagine my surprise to learn I'm descended from the man who once owned most of Washington D.C. before it was the capital, and a 16th century Jewish immigrant, a man from Glasgow Scotland (1500s), Asa Candler (who started Coca-Cola, from which I've inherited nothing!)...and Davey Crockett! (this by his second wife).

So I humbly represent Davey Crockett in China.  But why not?  I've accomplished what even Christopher Columbus failed to achieve.  When he set sail, he was seeking not a New World but a short cut to an ancient one--to India and China, to be exact.  And his destination in China was the famous port of Quanzhou, known by the Arabs as Zaiton (source of our word "satin"), and said to be a haven for Sinbad himself.  Quanzhou is only 60 km. north of Xiamen.  Columbus never made it to Quanzhou--but I've been there dozens of times, and even written a book about it.  Eat your heart out, Chris!

Below is an email just forwarded to me by a fellow writing about our mutual descent from Davey Crockett (I was born William Neil Edmunson, by the way).

Yes I am aware of our connection of to Davey Crockett.  His second wife was Elizabeth Patton of Buncombe County, NC.  She was the sister to Margaret Patton who is my great-great-great grandmother, so I am the 3rd great grandnephew of Elizabeth and kin to Davey by their marriage. There are Crocketts all over Gibson County and a replica of his cabin (with some of the original timbers) is located just outside Rutherford. Davey's mother Rebecca Hawkins Crockett is buried there. Davey was a Colonel and Commander of the Lawrence County Malitia , a Justice of the Peace and a member of the Tennessee State Legislature and successful businessman while in Lawrence County. He owned a Distillery, Grist Mill and Gun Powder Mill untill a flash flood destroyed them and forced Davey and Elizabeth into bankruptsey. They sold what they had left and moved to what became  Gibson County in West Tennessee where there was 1000 acres of land owned by Elizabeth's father, Robert Patton, who received it for service in the Revolutionary War. He devided this land into 200 acre lots to be divided it among his children. Davey was elected to US congress for 3 terms. When he lost his 4th bid for his congressional seat, he went to Texas and joined their fight for independance from Mexico. He was killed at the Alamo and his body burned by order of Santa Anna. In 1852 Elizabeth and some or the family moved to Texas to take up land awarded to Davey by the Republic of Texas. She and the families that went with her died and were buried there and relatives live there to this day. This and is on my web site on RootsWeb.

Bill Brown Xiamen University

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