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Profiles

  • Elizabeth Van Lew (Union spy) (1818 - 1900)
    Elizabeth Van Lew (October 25, 1818 – September 25, 1900) was a well-born Richmond, Virginia resident who built and operated an extensive spy ring for the United States during the American Civ...
  • Maj. Samuel McCulloch (1750 - 1772)
    McColloch's Leap was a feat performed during a September 1777 attack by Native Americans on Fort Henry, site of present-day Wheeling, West Virginia, during the American Revolutionary War. In Septembe...
  • John Gess (1754 - c.1799)
    There are several interesting stories concerning John Gess. It is said he participated in the hunt for Daniel Boone's daughter, Jemima, and her friends Elizabeth and Frances Callaway were captured by...
  • Maria Appolonia "Abigail" Rice (1742 - 1789)
    RICE, MARIA APPOLONIA ABAGAIL HARTMAN DAR Ancestor #: A094808 Notice: FUTURE APPLICANTS MUST PROVE CORRECT SERVICE (WHY?) Birth: 9-4-1742 THE PALATINATE EUROPE Death: 11-6-1789 PIKELAND TWP CHEST...
  • Capt. Joseph Wadsworth, Sr. (1650 - 1739)
    Joseph Wadsworth Sex: M Birth: 1647/1650 in Hartford, Connecticut Death: 1729 in Hartford, Connecticut Father: William Wadsworth b: 1600 in Long Beckley, Norfolk, England Mother: Elizabeth ...

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.

Resources

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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.