Family Stories

Thanksgiving Thankfulness!

All of us are planning in many ways for the wonderful celebration of Thanksgiving. I’m sure turkeys are in the oven, as well as pumpkin pies. The smells of green beans seasoned with country ham wafting from the pot on the stove and the sweet scent of candied yams make the house a delicious smelling jumble of the lovely dinner to come. We enjoy this day so much – and each of us have many reasons to give thanks!

I am so very thankful for each and every one of my ancestors that came before me. Without their little bits of DNA I would not be the person I am today. If any one had not lived long enough to produce my gr-gr-grandparent, I would not be sitting at this desk now.

My 5th great-grandfather, Peter Montgomery, came to America from France in the early 1700’s. He and his brother Paul came with their eldest sons to create a new home for their families. After docking in Maryland they bought land and readied homes for the wives and children waiting across the ocean. Peter agreed to stay in Maryland while Paul made the journey back to France, to bring the rest of the two families to their new homes. He never came back. It was thought his ship was lost at sea and all on board perished. Peter married again, produced more children, and that lineage today comes down to me – and quite a few others!

My 4th great-grandfather, John Hancock Linton, fought for our independence in the Revolutionary War, as Captain of the Loudoun County Militia in the great commonwealth of Virginia. After the war, at the age of 68 he moved his entire family – children, grandchildren – to Washington County, Kentucky. Why did he make such a journey, which, at that time, was such a great age? What drove him? When they arrived homes had to be built, fields cleared and crops planted.

The word feud sometimes puts a bitter taste into one’s mouth. But, yes, my 2nd great-grandfather, Isaiah Hill, was involved in the Hill-Evans feud in the early 1850’s. Thankfully he produced my great-grandfather, his son Isaiah, before he was killed in 1852. And young Isaiah made it safely through the Civil War – although he contracted small pox and was in hospital for many months – to marry and have my beloved grandfather, Jessie Delbert Hill.

My great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton, was one of twelve children. All but three died before their 21st birthday. Frances was the only one who married and carried on the lineage. And she loved genealogy with a passion! She has inspired me to fill my life with genealogy research – in between having a family and working!

That brings me to my wonderful husband, who supports me in every way in my genealogy endeavors – going to cemeteries and history centers with me, spending vacation days in the pursuit of lost ancestors and in antique malls searching for old photos! And my two children who support my passion and realize this is a big part of who I am – and applaud me for it!  And for my ten-month-old grandson who, I hope, carries the passion for genealogy in his DNA!

We all have so many things for which to be thankful – if you have a roof over your head, food to eat and enough clothes to keep you warm, you are blessed. Most of us have much more than the necessities, and I am overwhelmed with my blessings. If in some small way I can help any of you with your research, find a long-lost great-great, or just interest you in a photo or post I have made, I feel I have accomplished my goal – thanks for reading my blog!

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving, and that you spend it with those you love most! And remember to be thankful for your ancestors!

3 replies »

  1. Thank you for such a lovely Thanksgiving message. We all have so much to be thankful for. It is awesome to realize we would not be here except for all of our direct ancestors. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Marilyn

  2. I miss the spiritual aspects of those two great holidays Thanksgiving and Christmas as they were celebrated back in the “old days”. Thank you for focusing so strongly on the virtue of “gratitude” we should all embrace 12 months a year. What I love is that the gratitude of Thanksgiving and the joy of Christmas can get a person through 2 solid months of an otherwise dismal season. But back to your point, Phyllis, I am very grateful for what ancestors passed on to me and my family. And think of the joyous Christmases they spent together in family units which we are descended from.

    • I totally agree! I remember very distinctly one Christmas Eve at my paternal grandparents – couldn’t say how many people were in that tiny house! While my grandmother and the aunts prepared food on the wood stove, my cousins and I played cards in the bedroom – those wonderful smells telling us we were getting a scrumptious dinner eventually! My grandfather gave me a scarf that year and I was thrilled! How many children today would think that was a great gift? Such slower, easier times. How I miss them!

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