In 1690, a famous battle occurred in Ireland known as the Battle of the Boyne. As far as I know, none of my ancestors had anything to do with it. An early ancestor of mine, Richard Child (1624-1716) originally attempted to settle in Yarmouth, Massachusetts but was told to move down the road by the colonial version of the town council and ended up in Barnstable. The Child(s) family line contains a number of individuals who fought in the Revolutionary War, as well as boat builders, and sea captains-all ordinary Americans.
More recent immigrants from my family line entered America through Ellis Island from their homelands in Silesia, Ireland, Scotland, and Poland. My grandfather, Joseph Tepp, dropped out of school in the sixth grade and worked first for the railroad in Milwaukee and then in the paper mills outside Stevens Point, Wisconsin. He was a union organizer. My dad is known for many things. Most importantly, he played both offense and defense for some Division III small college football team that went undefeated sometime in the 1950’s. He is still patiently waiting to be inducted into his undergraduate college’s athletic hall of fame. My mother was born and raised in Wisconsin and her blood is badger red. She is well-known for her outspokenness. During my graduation ceremony from an Ivy-League University, she quipped to the proud parent sitting next to her that she was not impressed with the Ivy-League and would have preferred that I had attended the University of Wisconsin.
There are some famous people out there with a name that sounds like mine but is spelled differently. I am not the Sean Boyne who wrote the famous article later allegedly quoted by British Intelligence sources that had something to do with Iraq’s security capabilities. Nor am I the Sean Boyne who wrote a famous story about being sold into marriage. I do have a famous younger brother who is an accomplished writer and in whose shadow I am destined to live.