The Piety of My Forefathers

I am in process of rebuilding my website and am writing about my paternal line and discernment keeps drifting through my mind.  Specifically it is an acknowledgement on my part that many of the base tenets of my life were actually present and operating in my paternal 4 times great grandfather’s life also as witnessed and noted by his grandson in the 1850s.  Without fast forwarding, these traits and beliefs seem to have been in operation throughout my paternal lineage, at least back to 1739.  I have no wonder any more of why I prefer the uncluttered, simple life and life styles.  In reflection, those times I have wandered from this are the times that life did not treat me well, or at least as well as I was expecting.  In my middle 30s, I consciously and decidedly took to answer the personal questions of “Where did I come from?”, “Where am I at?”, and “Where am I going?” that seems to direct my thinking even today, some time later.  Quoting the author’s opening paragraph of his Preface to “The Annals of the Harbaugh Family in America from 1736 to 1856” – “The annals of a family are interesting and sacred to its members alone, and a stranger doth not intermeddle therewith.  To cherish the memory of our ancestors is a plain dictate of piety.  Only those who care not for their destiny can be careless as to their origin.  He that forgets his ancestors is either stupid or wicked or both.”  I may not use the hard hitting adjectives as my ancestors did in the early decades of this country’s history, but I certainly agree with the message.

From a genealogist’s point of view, the nuggets of family history rising out of the past are a treasure to be cherished in his or her work.  That is one of the main reasons I advocate the writing of your own personal story, not for you, but for those who come after you.  Again I state why not take your place in history with your own story that most likely will become some future family researcher’s treasure.


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