Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ahnentafel What?

Well it’s Tuesday and tomorrow RU is out for Thanksgiving Break, so I thought I better get this out today.

I was trying to think what to write about and I thought I’d weave together my last two blogs: the one on alluding to genealogy and the other about globalization. Growing up in our household Thanksgiving was always a big feast and my maternal grandmother would recount how her ancestor John Howland fell off the Mayflower and was rescued, later becoming a prominent Pilgrim Father. Ever since being a boy, I’ve had a fascination with Family History but only in recent years has it developed into a full blown historical study.

So what’s an Ahnentafel? It’s a pedigree chart. Pretty simple. But I’d like to talk about my ancestry as an example of DIVERSITY. In my Family Tree are some pretty interesting characters. For starters, there are the Pilgrims. Some of their descendants married Presbyterians, who later married into Quaker lines from the founding Quaker colonies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. One of my ancestors, Martin Kendig, was the one who founded the Mennonite colony in Lancaster, PA helping people escape persecution in Europe. In my Family Tree I also have Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Roman Catholics and Greek Orthodox. I even have an ancestor who was part of the original group called “Millenial Dawnists” out of which the Jehovah’s Witnesses evolved. So you can see my Family Tree is filled with lots of religious history. (If you go WAY back through my mother’s line some are canonized saints in the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and Armenian Orthodox churches. Unfortunately, I can only take my father’s ancestry back to the late 1700s.)
So, when you look at my Ahnentafel you’ll see that there are some very diverse branches on that tree. And that’s life. Life is filled with rich diversity. That makes us who we are, our stories. May you have a great Thanksgiving Holiday and celebrate the diversity and richness of your family!

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