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  • Ann Cockrill, Indian Fighter (1757 - 1821)
    Ann Robertson Cockrill was the only woman among the early Cumberland settlers to receive a land grant in her own name. In 1784 the North Carolina legislature awarded this honor for her contribution to ...
  • Lighthouse Keeper Abbie Burgess (1839 - 1892)
    Added by E. C. Nickerson about this Ancestor: Lighthouse keeper as her father before her. --- From her page on Maine: An Encyclopedia: Grant, Abbie Burgess (1839-1892), an early female lighth...
  • Hannah Dustin, Indian Fighter (1657 - 1737)
    Hannah Webster Emerson (12/3/1657-3/6/1737) married Thomas Dustin (1652-11/17/1732) on Dec. 3, 1677. Children were: Hannah (8/22/1678), Elizabeth (5/7/1680), Mary (11/4/1681-10/18/1696), Thomas (1/5/...
  • Redmond O'Hanlon (c.1640 - 1681)
    Redmond O'Hanlon Count Redmond O'Hanlon (c. 1640 – 25 April 1681) was a 17th-century Irish tóraidhe or rapparee (guerrilla-outlaw). Born around 1640 in Poyntzpass, O'Hanlon's Country,...
  • Francis Pharcellus Church (1829 - 1906)
    Francis Pharcellus Church (February 22, 1839 – April 11, 1906) was an American publisher and editor. He was a member of the Century Association. He was a lead editorial writer on his brother's...

What is a "folk hero?"

Here's a definition from American Folk Heroes

Folk heroes and heroines are not born as superstars. In fact they often begin life as everyday people who are transformed into extraordinary people by significant life events, often in response to social injustice, and sometimes in response to natural disasters. In all cases they are individuals who have found a way to apply their particular character strengths, beliefs and values to overcome adversity.

  • All folk heroes represent what is possible for the common person; they offer a road map, so to speak, of how to keep moving in the face of oppression or corruption and are often the people we admire most and often aspire to be like.

Add "the folk hero in your family" to this project from wherever they may be. Collaborators, feel free to add to the lists that get us started, and to the Project photo gallery.

Historically documented only, please.



The Making of a Jewish Folk Hero: The Golem of the Maharal of Prague

The Golem of Prague, a Jewish Folk Tale provides one of the finest examples of this synthesis of history, culture and religion in its hero the Rabbi Judah Ben Loewe, known as the Maharal. For while his association with the golem is fictional, the Maharal himself was a very real person.