Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Who Begat Whom!?!

Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Aminadab, Aminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.

That’s Matthew 1:2-6 and it proves there was a whole lot of begatting (okay, that’s not really a word, but it sounds so much cooler than begetting which is the correct word to use here) going on back in the day. I couldn’t help but think of all the begats in the Bible this afternoon while Dad and I talked about family history. ‘Cause you know what!?! There has been some begatting in my family history also!

Dad has been tracing our genealogical tree for many years now and he likes to share the information that he finds. Because of my recent retreat from the rat race and the fact that I have been working on some things for him around his house I have heard a lot of the stories in recent weeks. Now, truth be told, I sometimes get entangled in all the dotted lines that connect family members, but I love hearing the stories.

Listening to Dad talk about the past reminds me that I am part of something bigger than me. I have a love for history and revel in the fact that my family has a rich history on both sides of the parental tree. It may not be the history that will make text books, but it’s ours and I am proud of it.

Today we talked about the greats on Dad’s side of the family. I’ve been around long enough to know that Mom Brendle refers to my dad’s great-grandmother since that is what she was known by. That would be my grandmother’s grandmother. I had to think about that one for a minute to make sure I got it right. See how easy it is to get confused when talking about grandparents? It gets doubly twisted because of the tradition of naming your children with family names. We have Johns, Freds, and Coras abounding in our family line.

Heck, we even have an Adam and an Eve and one of my ancestors was quoted as saying that he was, indeed, the son of Adam and Eve. Not THE Adam and Eve mind you, but a son of Adam and Eve nonetheless.

Along with the laying out of the lineage there are the stories that go along with the people. That is what really brings the history to life and what I particularly enjoy about my talks with Dad. One of my favorite stories is about the relative that I can’t remember right now, but she and her sisters were outside when a panther came along. Their daddy came out and shot the panther that then had just enough strength to swim across the river and die on the other bank. Well, daddy apparently wanted that pelt so he swam across the river, put the tail of the big cat between his teeth and then swam back to the other side towing the cat by the tail. How’s that for a manly man?

Alas, my other favorite story you will just have to wait and read about in a book since it is the basis for a novel I will write some day. Sorry to disappoint, but I dare say it will be worth the wait.

The family history continues and someday in the distant future one of my relatives may just enjoy the stories of my time. And, won’t they be lucky that they will have this here little blog to cull some interesting tidbits to tell their children!?!

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