The fact that it was a great-uncle on both sides of the family choosing to stand for freedom as opposed to tyranny or compromise brings the genetic cloth very close to home for Martin's own commitments to causes. I found it jaw dropping, almost, that the woman who was hounded by a judge for seeking an abortion remained in the same community and married producing children. As it was Spain two hundred years ago I'm really surprised she wasn't stoned to death...then to have the judge as a grandfather in one line (illegitimate) and the woman as his grandmother in another line (legitimate) really is surreal. That kind of story makes the searches worthwhile.
In my tree my mother's family on her father's side were all northerners (Mass and NY) who fought both in the revolutionary and civil wars. There is a rumor, though, that one of my early ancestors from the pre-civil war era was a captain on a slave ship. Then, however, he married a Creole woman and the family disowned him. That is when that line began their westward migration through Wisconsin and North Dakota to Oregon. I would like to find out about my grandmother's side as they were Dutch settlers in the hills of North Carolina and that is all I know about them. My father's grandparents emigrated from Sweden and I even remember my uncle talking about being in touch with two elderly maiden aunts in Stockholm. That would be another interesting tree to pursue. My grandfather was the only boy in a family of six and at one time I saw a listing of his sisters and their children, etc. That is now lost.
One day I may actually pay money to join the ancestry search site.