Thursday, May 21, 2009

An Old Book

Af alwayf, firft the background.
Before you read this, sit for just a moment and try to remember your earliest childhood memory. Can you remember things which happened to you when your were four years old? Three? Or even two?
I have memories of trips taken on steam locomotives to New York City when I was two and a half years old. Clear memories of Yankee Stadium, and staying at the Dixie Hotel. I remember certain events when I was three years old. One of these events was going on a car trip to Springfield, Ohio with my mother and father and grandparents. It was for a get together of my grandfather's family the night before the funeral of his uncle. I was told to be on my good behavior. Polite, in another words. I still vividly remember the house and all the relatives gathered around a huge dining room table. I can remember all the wood in the house too. There were massive mantles, huge wooden paneled doors, and one which slid into the wall. The house smelled like old people. You know the smell. After the "meeting" we all went down in the basement and Grandpa and mom carried things out to the trunk of grandpas Ford. One of the items was a small chest or trunk. Not a big trunk, more like what I thought was the size of a treasure chest. I distinctly remember asking my mother what was in it. She said memories.
The trunk was more or less forgotten about until I was about twenty five or so. My grandfather passed away and we cleaned out all his belongings and found space for them as we could. The trunk resurfaced and was stored in mom's attic. We went through it then, and I was reminded of the importance of it's contents. I was told then that it was to stay in the family.
In 1995 my mother fell ill and moved in with us here. Her house was sold, the house I grew up in, and all the contents of importance came north with me.No easy task. The trunk resurfaced again. It wasn't until about six years ago when I became computer literate, and interested in family history, that I began scanning and copying old photographs, documents, researching family history and wondering how in the hell I'd come into possession of that old book. I mean, I know how I got it, where it had come from, but just how did I come into possession of it? I researched it some, and found some information about, and even tried to read it. I never got very far. Shakespeare gave me headaches in high school and this simply, as far as I was concerned was just unreadable. What with the language and oh yes the religious subject matter. Never been big on religion.
Some of the other contents of the trunk were interesting, too.
There are handwritten manuscripts from great uncle Calvin about the family's roots in Pennsylvania and later around Wheeling, West Virginia, and Zanesville, Ohio, which were founded and settled by my ancestors. I am related to among others, Zane Grey, Tecumseh and Betty Zane.

But back to the book. That is, after all, what the post is about. I have learned over the years that Thomas Shepard was a pastor at the Church of Christ in Cambridge, was one of the "founders" of Harvard, but more importantly, He was the son in law of your man Thomas Hooker. That's why I was so taken aback when I started reading your blog and YOU started following mine.
Fate is really an odd thing, and oh yef, it really if a fmall world!
p.s. If you would like to contact me about the book with questions or dialogue, I would really enjoy hearing from you. I am at and look forward to hearing from you.


naomi said...

What a great post! I love old family stuff like that! Looks like you have loads!I'll do a bit of homework, too, and get back to you.

Ed said...

Hey Jack,
Did you ever have a roommate in Dayton named Ed Atkeson?
best, Ed