I’ve been temporarily hooked on Ancestry.com research. I surely didn’t expect to find all that I’ve found so far. I won’t go into the results at this time completely, in case there are those still on the road to discovery about ancestors. Uncovering a surprise in a family tree is certainly a joy.
Let me put it this way. I have relatives all over southeastern Kentucky and in every direction across the country. What I found in my own family tree literally applies to thousands of living individuals who are from my same list of ancestors. Kings. Queens. Officers. Barons. Royalty on all levels.
My first thoughts were “What happened? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.”
It is a long road from a 20th or 22nd grandparent to the modern day. Kings were made, and kings were toppled. Some inherited their thrones by bloodlines, and some seized their thrones through the blood of battles hard fought and won. First born sons inherited the bulk of everything. But when a dynasty was toppled, so was the family fortune.
Looking a little closer to today, among the last five to six generations, I have also found interesting things out about our family. When I say “Our family,” I am speaking to everyone who is among my kith and kin. We have relatives who landed in Plymouth, and others who were present at the founding of Jamestown. They shaped a vision for the new world.
They fought in the Revolutionary War, and some of the Loyalists went home to England and died there of old age. They were present at the writing of the Declaration of Independence, and the installation of the first president of the United States. They were there when the colonies were established, and when the independence from England was won.
I used to think I wanted to be a member of the Daughters of the Revolutionary War veterans. It was a much harder task to trace family roots back to the revolution before computers, and ancestry programs. Even with computer help, it takes a lot of digging to come up with answers.
I had never considered the number of grandparents and great-grandparents a researcher might uncover in their search. Two grandparents, four great-grandparents, eight great-great grandparents, 16 great-great-great grandparents and so on, doubling that number with each generation. By the time the 20th great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers are discovered, there are literally thousands of them. It should be no great shock, I suppose, when a few of them turn out to be historical figures out of that vast number of ancestors.
I started out looking at great grandparents, along with great aunts and uncles through the first generations. It was so overwhelming that I decided to stick with only direct grandparents, although amazing information pops up along the way in the area of aunts and uncles.
At the moment, the discoveries tracing backwards through names, dates, parents of parents of parents, etc. has been a time consuming, but fruitful search.
In the Appalachian Mountains live descendants of statesmen, historical figures, princes, princesses, kings and queens. They trace back to England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Spain and beyond. The blood of royalty flows through our veins.
I can’t help wondering where the breakdown came that we stopped being the inventors, statesmen, politicians and people who shape the future, rather than be the victims of other people’s decisions that influence our region. I also can’t help wondering how can we take back that mindset of authority, future makers, problem solvers and people who shape the destiny of our own lives, our region and our nation.
More important than any DNA link to me is our spiritual heritage. We are children of the Most High King, brothers and sisters and joint heirs with Christ. We have a Godly inheritance. Maybe it’s time we start behaving like the people of God we were created to be, and like the children of kings and queens from whom we have come.
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.