Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's In a Name?

Have you ever traced your family history? I mean, gone back as far as you can to find out what your family roots are? I've never gotten deep in genealogy but I've always had an interest.
My grandfather on my Dad's side, in his later years, wrote a couple of family history books that were/are excellent sources of family history. For instance, for many years I did not realize that the battle of Guilford Courthouse in the Revolutionary War was fought on Mitchell land - one of my direct ancestors. There also was a story about a little girl that was captured by the Indians and was saved - another direct ancestor. One time, at a church meeting in Mattoon, Illinois I met an aunt (distant but direct just the same) that I never had heard of. And here in Oscoda a member of a local church came up to me one time and asked me if the Harry E. Mitchell who wrote genealogy books was a relative. I told him that Harry E. Mitchell was my grandfather and it turned out that the Oscoda man was another cousin.
Oh, another thing - my grandfather's book also revealed that there were a number of Presbyterian pastors in my family background. My father commented that in view of this, it didn't seem quite right that I was a METHODIST pastor. All I c an say is that God, in His wisdom, is in control and mayj not have read my grandfather's book.
A few years ago our youngest daughter, Lisa, started working on the family history of my wife's father. We drove into Canada, found a bunch of family graves and history and checked out family information. Later we traced a lot of family history and graves in Detroit and other parts of Michigan. By the time Lisa was done she had compiled a excellent family history that went back to when Joyce's ancestors had come to Canada from County Mayo in the 1800's.
On my mother's side, her family goes back to Lincolnshire in England (around Epworth where Methodist founder John Wesley grew up)( I hope I'm right there) and eventually became one of the original Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. You'll find the name of Isaac Allerton on the Mayflower Compact and my middle name is Allerton. One of my ancesters was involved in developing rubber products like boots or raincoats. Not tires. But the company was Goodyear India Rubber Company or was it Goodrich India Rubber Company? But I DO know that it was not a forerunner of one of today's tire companies. Or maybe it was.
It's interesting to go back in family history. I've never gotten deeply involved in genealogy but family history is interesting just the same.
Oh, about the picture. One of the neckties is the "Bruce" Tartan. I guess I was named after the
great king of Scotland. The other tie is the "Mitchell" tartan - my direct family clan. It is also related to the Innes clan, and the Galbreath clan (which is the one my Oscoda friend is descended from.
It's a small world and I thank a friend for setting me to reflecting on family ties. Maybe I ought to do this more often.

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