My Family's New
Coast Guard Cutter

Dateline: 8 May 2014

Sumner Increase Kimball

Now the U.S. Coast Guard is naming a new ship after me. Well, sort of. 

National Security Cutter #7, to be christened Coast Guard Cutter Kimball, is actually being named after my ancestor, Sumner Increase, who pretty much founded the Coast Guard. You can read all about Sumner Increase At This Link. And you can read about the new ship at This Link.

How I came to know about this is kind of an amazing story... My half-brother, Christopher, just happens to work down in Alabama for the company that is building the ship. He e-mailed my Aunt Carolyn up in Maine, wondering if we might be related to this famous Kimball. Aunt Carolyn e-mailed 2nd cousin Reginald in Canada who knows the Kimball family history better than anyone. Reginald wrote…

"To answer your query, I checked my Kimball book. Sumner Increase Kimball's descent from Richard Kimball, the immigrant ancestor of 1634, goes like this:  Richard, Richard, Ephraim, Ezra, Richard, Nathaniel, Increase Sumner, the latter man being his father.  Your descent from that same Richard Kimball of 1634 is as follows:  Richard, Richard, John, Richard, Jacob, Asa, Richard, William, Jedidiah, Leverett, Herrick, Carolyn. 

Thus you can see that Sumner Increase Kimball and our William Kimball of N.B. were 5th cousins.  And you are a 5th cousin, 4 times removed, of that same famous Sumner."

I don't know if I'm a 5th cousin 5 times removed, or what. But the point is, Sumner and me is definitely kin. Do you see a resemblance?

Another interesting thing…. Sumner graduated from Bowdoin college in Maine (he started college when he was 16 years old). My grandfather, Dr. Herrick Kimball (who I am named after), and my father were both Bowdoin graduates too. Fact is, I was practically born at Bowdoin. My father was a student there in 1958, the year of my birth. I had some great times at Bowdoin, back in the day (though I don't remember them).

There was a time in my life when I dreamed of being a student at Bowdoin too. When I was in 7th grade I sent a letter to Bowdoin (no e-mail back then) requesting the school catalog. But that idea faded away before I graduated from high school. I wasn't smart enough, or focused enough, or rich enough to go to a school like that. And, in retrospect, it's just as well.

So that's the story of how I got a new ship named after me… sort of.

This is what 497 million tax dollars will buy. 


deborah harvey said...

what a magnificent moustache!!!

deb h.

Anonymous said...

Yes I do see a resemblance. I think it's the NOSE. Just kidding, you're a handsome fellow.

SharonR said...

I like two main things about this story - One, that I get to sort of converse with a member of a family who has so many interesting relatives including himself, and Two, that Cousin Reginald knew how to say just exactly which line of cousin Sumner Increase is to Aunt Carolyn. I wrote them all down, and I came up with Aunt Carolyn 5th cousin, 3 times removed, but I don't trust what I came up with. I'm just learning how to say cousin lines correctly. It drives some crazy that I try to get it right, but Cousin Reginald knows my thinking. :-)

I agree with Anonymous, you have the same *nose*, but I add the *eyes*, too.

Herrick Kimball said...

Yeah! I wish I inherited the ability to grow a mustache like that.

Perhaps the nose. Thanks.

Well I sure don't know about the "cousin lines."

Interesting that you noticed the eyes. That was the first thing I noticed about Sumner. I thought they looked like my grandfather's eyes.

If my grandmother were still around, she would be able to say for sure, as she often commented on which side of the family different features of her grandchildren came from. Probably all grandmothers do that.

Anonymous said...

If the relative is famous, or just nice, I claim kinship back many generations.

Otherwise, I figure second cousins or thereabouts are not really related to me!

Think about this...

You're only half Kimball, since just your dad was a Kimball.

But then, your dad was only half Kimball too. So that would make you one-fourth Kimball.

But then your Grandad was only half Kimball too...

And so it goes...

Thanks for the story.

As for the ship... War is a racket...

Herrick Kimball said...

Hey CrafterAl,

I couldn't agree more about war being a racket.

As for your assertion that I'm actually not much related to cousin Sumner, that's not very nice of you. I was really enjoying the fact that him and me was kin, and now you've ruined it all.