Thursday, November 21, 2013

Land of Light

Another Note Card Party in the can. Thank you so much for making it fun and for being a good visitor who leaves comments and for sharing your talent and beautiful photographs with us! The next Note Card Party will be December 18.

My love for Pilgrims was fostered early in a first grade classroom by Mrs. Pulsifer. She is the very one who taught me Psalm 23 and The Lord's Prayer. She also loved Thanksgiving and so things really began to pick up once November rolled around.

Perhaps she had ancestors who arrived on The Mayflower; perhaps she was a Daughter of the American Revolution as well. Whatever, she could surely tell some stories.

It takes things awhile to come full circle around here. I could let today's particular closure go without discussing it, if I weren't writing this here blog for the benefit of my family. (Hahahahahaha...I do crack myself up. Actually, quite to the contrary, I had a family ban on reading my blog for years. When they did read it, they tiptoed in and tiptoed out. Sometimes I caught them; most of the time I didn't.) 

It was way back on a post written in November 2007 that I pondered what painting hung on the back wall of my first grade classroom. I had not remembered correctly at that time — close, but not quite right; however, when I saw it recently, I recognized it immediately!

~Too Near the War-Path by George H. Boughton~

Yup. Something like that portrait will stay with you! It certainly has for me. It hung on the back wall of the classroom above the piano. I think of it as being a large, framed print. I would never have been able to guess that my ancestors had such experiences as this young couple portrayed in this painting of being too close to the War Path

While wandering the genealogy paths that I have recently found, I learned some interesting, even shocking, things. This list starts slowly and gains speed ☺:

1. First of all, my grandmother's maternal grandfather's parents were second cousins so this becomes a double line.

2. My three times great-grandfather (Hezekiah) was a Civil War veteran.

3. My five times great-grandfather (Joshua) was a Revolutionary War veteran.

4. My first ancestor in that line came to this country in 1635 — that's not much later than the Pilgrims. He was my eight times great-grandfather (George).

5. George had many children. One daughter, a mid-wife, was caring for a multiple great-grandmother of Jill's(Jill's World of Research, Reaction and Millinery)when the unthinkable happened.(I find it fascinating that here Jill and I have been hanging out together in Blogdom for some years now and our ancestors were hanging out together way back in 1697. Good thing I remembered Jill's story!) 

Jill has told the remarkable, even controversial, story of her ancestor (and mine) on her blog. If you ever need a good great fascinating read, I point you to it *here to get started* (though she wove an incredible tale beginning somewhere early in March of 2007...she is a research librarian after all) and *here in some final musings*. Jill tells the story with compassion and love. I am not equal to that task and so I am very glad that Jill has already done it. Edited to Add: Jill actually has a very handy label in her sidebar that pulls all her posts on this subject together chronologically. It's called Dustin Family Saga

I find myself astonished that, as a New Englander, I have roots that go back nearly to the beginning of American history. (You may remember my describing my investigation into my family history as if my family must have crawled out from under a rock because I could find so little. If you are searching, keep searching from time to time. New information is being added to the web all the time.) If you have lived in an area all your life and your family is tucked all around you, you may discover roots that go way back, too.
Now I know that the Bible specifically teaches (1 Timothy 1:4) that genealogy is not something to spend much time pondering and I believe that. Genealogy is not an important thing, though I could make a case that not only does math prove God, genealogy does, too, because genealogy is so very mathematical. Eventually, we're all going back to you know who in The Garden of Eden. I kid you not. Do the math!

I well remember my uncle telling me, after his taking many genealogy classes about twenty-five years ago, that 16 generations back everyone on earth is related. When I told him the Garden of Eden bit, he blinked hard several times. He found that a titch more difficult to comprehend.

I have more to say about this adventure into the family archives, though I'll save it for another time, probably writing on a Saturday when no one is around to read.☺

Today, I want to close with a testimony my five times Great-Grandfather Joshua's mother Ruth (six times great-grandmother) gave. She lived in perilous times before the country had even been established. Abenaki Indians had been responsible for the horrific deaths of her parents in a raid on Haverhill, Massachusetts in the early 1700s. (I wish to add that that was then and this is now. Different times, different sensibilities.) Even so, Ruth could say this:

I desire to be thankful that I was born in a Land of Light where I have heard the Gospel preached and the Bible read...I have had encouragement from many places, John 6:37, Isaiah 1:18, John 7:37, Revelation 3:20 and 22:17. I desire the prayers of all God's people for me that I may walk and be found among Christ's people when He takes up His jewels. 

We, too, are living in a challenging time in history, yet we still live in this Land of Light where we may hear the Gospel preached and the Bible read. Let's push back against every effort to change our freedoms of religion or any other freedoms.

Thanks for reading such a lengthy post with so many links. Blessings!
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  1. Great post, Vee! I dabble in genealogy but have never been fortunate enough to find personal writings from my ancestors. It must mean a lot to you and her testimony at that.

  2. Love this! You've done lots of research! -- and that picture is awesome. Yes, it would stick with me and be remembered, too!

  3. What a fun and interesting post to read Vee. I've done a bit of family research but haven't found much here, mostly in Finland where all my ancestors are from.

  4. Wonderful post, Vee! This is so interesting. I love how you remembered that picture from your 1st grade classroom.
    I have been thinking a lot about the condition of our country. I'm sad for what it has become. But I do know one thing for sure. God is in control, no matter what people try to do. Such an assurance of hope & promise!


  5. Hi Vee...just let me start out by saying the note card party is so fun! I'm so glad I was able to finally get the link to work so I could enjoy the other's posts! I'm excited to hear that you will be having one next month too...the wheels are already turning in my head about what I might come up with. And how fun it is to find out interesting facts about our ancestors! I'm sure many if not all of us have interesting relatives with interesting stories...sometimes I wish it were possible to go back (for just a short while) and see what their lives were like.

  6. What a magnificent family history! I hear you about the privilege we have here with religion and I wish our public schools allowed the Lord's prayer again--it's why we sent our daughters to Catholic school. Our family doesn't go back to the Pilgrims, but we have Native American ancestors on my father's side and I tell my family we WERE there at the first Thanksgiving! XOXO

  7. That link you gave me was fabulous. Very easy to understand all of the muckily-muck. Can you do me a favor and see if I got it working correctly now? Thanks Friend!

  8. Well this was a fascinating read for sure, Vee. It really is amazing how far back your roots go here in this country. Loved that testimony. Love love love that last line. "that I may walk and be found among Christ's people when He takes up His jewels."
    I can easily trace my families start here in the states to 1947 just a few hundred years after yours! :)
    Now Dear is another story with his paternal grandmother who has Cherokee in her line...His Maternal grandparents immigrated from Sweden.

  9. Vee, amazing your found that picture, It would stay with me too. We took in so much in our young years that have influenced us. I find all your knowledge and keeping the number of greats in line just fascinating. It is math for sure. My dad did all the research on our family back to 1750s when the first guy came over as an indentured servant, and I find it so fascinating--he wrote it all in a self published book. I guess I didn't know the Bible said that about genealogy--because it certainly records a lot of it don't you think? But I'm sure you are right. Yet we are to remember the past to learn from it. We have a few lessons worth learning in our family history. I happen to have grown up with lovers of history and live with one now. And by the way I turned on the TV today and saw your husband's birch log project being made. He must have great influence ! :-)

  10. What a great post!! Imagine finding that picture again! The picture I have from my childhood is The Guardian by H. Zabateri. I have always loved that one.
    I think it is fascinating to learn of your lineage! My poor kids have a huge road block when it comes to that. I do not know my biological father's name so they can only research their dad's background and perhaps my mother's. Not to worry - like you say - we are all related in one way or another!

  11. Well, I'm amazed at the story of the Dustins that Jill has researched and how there is a connection in the family tree with your and Jill. It was so fascinating. Several people in my family have traced our genealogy and there is a lineage on my grandmother's side going through all the females to the Puritans and the Mayflower and even back as far as the 600's in Britain. It was done 50 years ago and I'd love to take it and see if it's still correct. There are supposedly some famous people in the tree. I find family history and lineage very interesting. But, it's the stories of hardship, survival and faith that really interest me and those ones are lost. Thanks for sharing this lengthy post. I really enjoyed reading it!

  12. Tears welled up as I read your ancestor's testimony. The phrase "when He takes up His jewels'" is moving to imagine. I cherish the promise that one day we will stand before His throne with the jewels of all generations who have found their salvation through Christ; and with us will be my Hannah and your Mary! Don't you think that they who comforted one another in the 1697 would have found it a source of great joy to learn that we too have found each other and have a companionship via blogdom, which for them would have been unimaginable while they lived on earth. I want to look up the scriptures that your Ruth quoted. I keep meaning to memories the ones Hannah quoted; now I am spurred on to do so.
    Thank you for highlighting my narratives Vee. Someday I would love to add to it in a blog about how we two went back to the island together. What a moment that would be!

    As for the question of Biblical warning about genealogy, note that it is "endless" genealogy that is cautioned against. I have made it a point to only research my family in America; if information about their history in Europe etc is already available, I read it but do not pursue it personally.

  13. Vee- I am going to go to Jill's blog and read that when I have an extra moment- I have marked it so I do that. Your post today is fascinating. I have our family history traced back to the late 1500's on my father's side- I did not do it- an Aunt did. It is really fascinating all the way around.

    I am with you about standing up so that our freedoms are not taken away. It is scary to me to see what our country is coming to-and that a FEW have such power over so MANY-and it is not for the good of the MANY that is being served....okay-stepping off my soapbox. It just aggravates me- xo Diana

  14. Loved this post, Vee,and I would love to search my family tree, I am sure I will shake out many nuts! And travel back to Europe. xo

  15. My mother-in-law is a professional genealogist so my husband's ancestry is traced back to the 1700s, but I know only back to my great-great-great grandparents. Someday, when I bow out of all this volunteering, it would be fun to learn more. Living in New England, you are fortunate to have so many resources to help you along the journey of finding your heritage. It's interesting, isn't it? ~ Loved the post. I think I will share the link with my mother-in-law. She will love it.

  16. I enjoy family history, on my side grandparents came to America from The Netherlands in the early 1900's, but on my hubby's side they came as early as 1640. I was so happy that my Mom brought me her photo albums to scan pictures recently. I love the photos and stories that go with them!


  17. A wonderful post! I loved that picture!

  18. I seriously doubt that many of us (myself included) would be able to survive very well with the conditions that challenged our ancestors on a daily basis. This nation has a rich history of ordinary folks who did extraordinary things to build this land of light. May the light never be extinguished. And may we never take it for granted.

  19. Such an informative and interesting post, Vee. I envy you all the history in your family. All I know of my family is that my great-grandfather ran a blacksmith shop on his property in the time of Abe Lincoln. I'm sure there must be a lot more to the story but I will just have to start digging..Happy Thursday..Judy

  20. I can't wait to follow all the links.

    My dad found out that one of his ancestral families came to New Kent, Virginia in 1623. Amazing, isn't it?


  21. Wow what a post Vee! Very interesting!! That is something that you can trace you family back so far.
    On both sides of my family my grandparents were the first generations to get here.
    A wonderful testimony of your 6 times great grandmother.
    Your ending words are pretty good too!!!

  22. Hello Vee, I loved this post! I agree we still are the Land of Light, His light. We must remember all generations have had to push the darkness back. I believe you and your family have a very rich heritage.
    I feel like I am living on the frontier in a different way, times have changed, but the desire to survive is a God given gift. I want to say; Happy Thanksgiving to you!
    Sorry my computer and internet has been a real bother this last week, I am on a very slow system :(
    Blessings, Roxy

  23. Vee, such an interesting post! Genealogy is so interesting! Wouldn't it be wonderful to have pictures of everyone!

  24. Such a fascinating post, Vee. I love genealogy but haven't gotten very far with my family. However, my mother recently gave me a German hymnal that was given to her grandmother by her great grandfather in Russia. I plan on doing a post about it soon.
    Now I'm going back to Jill's blog to read the story that you hinted at.

  25. How wonderful to have found these encouraging words from your great-great--and so far back grandmother. Don't you know she would rejoice to know that her far-distant future descendant read her words and took comfort in them? I am off to read Jill's story.

  26. Wow. A lot of interesting things you have turned up in your probing! How fun that you and Jill are first cousins a few time removed. :) I have good documentation of the geneology on my dad's side...not so good on my mom's. But they arrived in North America in I don't think we are related. But as you say...if we go back far enough...we are! And in the spiritual realm...we are definitely related! I like that. As for Ruth's precious is that?

  27. Just finished reading Jill's posts. Wow.

    I guess Mary is your ancestor. I can't imagine what they went through….Isn't it amazing though that we have this blood coursing through our veins too. The blood of hearty women who struggled and suffered while building a life here.

    Makes me proud and makes me stand a bit taller. Plus we have the Lord.


  28. I never got involved in genealogy in part because of the scripture from Timothy that you quoted. Plus I'd tell myself that I'm more concerned with the living than the dead of long ago. (Yes, I know that probably sounds a bit harsh, but I'm being honest!) However, it is fascinating to find out a little about our ancestors and what kind of lives they had. My aunt has been involved in researching our ancestors for many years and helps others at our local library from time to time. At age 87! She has just in the last year or so found that we are descendants of Robert the Bruce aka King of Scotland in the 1300s. I've forgotten how many greats, but he's my g?grandfather. How cool is that? I wish I had some of his bravery. Anyway, I loved reading Ruth's testimony and I agree wholeheartedly with your last paragraph. Well said!

  29. This was a very interesting read, Vee.
    My first cousin does all the genealogy in our family...both sides.
    He loves digging back so many years ago. I visited him several years ago and he took me to all our kins graves in that part of the country. Very interesting.......

  30. This is an AMAZING post and wise and good counsel, Vee. Thank you for being such a wonderful and thoughtful writer.

    Praying for you all your days. Hugs.

  31. All I know is that my great grandparents and grandparents came over from Ireland, Germany, Austria and France years ago. No one ever took the time to find out much about them. I am curious.
    It's would imagine it is fascinating to know your ancestors history.

  32. I am going to go find Jill's link to read the story that you mentioned but I thought to tell you that I was in the car the other day explaining Indians and Pilgrims to my grandson, who is little and has not seen an Indian yet ( I guess ) so as I explained that the Indians were sort of very tan people with dark hair that lived here first, and then the white people ( Like Us ) came over in a boat...he must have thought about his crayons because at that point he said we were not white people we were peach :)


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