What A Ride!
by Neal McFarland
Updated September 9, 2010
I'll never forget the first time my Dad took me to ride in his lap on The Comet roller coaster at the Forest Park Highlands amusement park in St. Louis. I was five or six years old, excited and giddy with anticipation. I had no idea what to expect when we got into the car and pulled down the safety bar. As we slowly climbed up the first long hill, leveled off, then plunged down the deep chute, it took my breath away and with every unexpected twist, turn, climb and drop, my heart pumped faster and faster. The 60-second ride scared the bejabbers out of me. When we finally stopped, I begged my Dad for a re-ride, which he agreed to. I was hooked! And since that first ride on the Comet, I've ridden some of the longest, fastest, steepest, meanest coasters in the country and never found one I couldn't handle.
My research into our McFarland family has been a microcosm of all those thousands of twists and turns, climbs and free fall drops. Every new discovery has been exhilarating; every dead end frustrating. But the anticipation of discovery never diminished. Like that first ride on The Comet, the search became an addiction.
As I've stated before, I started knowing next to nothing about the McFarland side of my family and only a little more about my Mother's side. Now, I can trace my McFarland line over three hundred years; my Mother's family over two hundred. And, along the way there were plenty of surprises.
McFarlands Who Served in the American Revolution
Compiled by Mary Helen Haines
When the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, men with the surname McFarland, or a variant, signed up to fight, either for the Continental Army, or for the various regiments organized by the separate colonies. Other men, especially in the frontier regions, served in local militias, and those men who were too old, and some women as well, contributed to the war effort with goods that fed or clothed the men fighting.