Monday, February 21, 2011
One thing that popped up the other day, while going through my newspaper clippings was the obituary for one of my maternal Great Grandfathers (the father of my mother's father). It seems that he fought in the Civil War. The obituary goes like this:
"The rapidly dwindling band of veterans of the Army of Northern Virginia, in the War Between the States, suffered another loss Monday night when the venerable J. W. Meeks, of Nelson County, father of Deputy Sheriff J. W. Meeks, of Alleghany County and Mr. A. P. Meeks, of Iron Gate, died at the ripe age of ninety years."
It makes me feel proud to know that my Great Grandfather fought in the Civil War and also that he lived to be ninety years old. That was a long time to live back then. It's still a long time to live. I wish I had a picture of him, but I don't.
I hope to preserve these findings for my children and grandchildren. It think it's important to know our roots. It gives a a sense of who we are and where we came from. It plants us firmly in our history and the history of our country of birth.
In my search, I also located the obituary of another Great Grandfather (the father of my mother's mother.) It says simply that: "Mr. Charles Miller, aged about 40 years, dropped dead early this morning while at work for one of the contracting firms building the Belt Line around the city. The cause of his death was heart disease." It goes on to say, "Mr. Miller is survived by a family and several friends, all of whom will learn of his sudden death with sincere regret."
This obit is so different from the other one. This Grandfather was very young when he died and his obituary was very short. There may be a more thorough one somewhere, but I haven't found it yet. I find it very interesting to have such diverse heritage, but this information can raise more questions than it anwers at times. I know of no one, still living, who can furnish me with more information, so many of my questions will go unanswered.
I suppose the point of all this is to hold on to the clippings and pictures and knowledge of those in your familly. Preserve the stories told also, if there are any. It's the stories and the memories that help our descendants ground themselves in their history.
History is important. Especially our personal history. If for no other reason than giving us a point of reference for our past, stories to pass down through the years, and most of all, roots.