Monday, August 26, 2013

(ROBERTS) What's In A Name?

My great-great-great-grandfather was named Jehoiada S. Roberts. After Jehoiada's wife, Maria, died, her property was to be sold to pay debts. The government workers involved contacted the widower about the land. One of them stated, in Maria's official probate records, that he was waiting in case “the old chap with the long front-name wanted to come in.”

Well! With comments like that, I suppose I might have decided to go by “J. S. Roberts” too!

What's in a name? In the Old Testament, Jezebel's daughter, Athaliah, married the king of Judah and introduced idol worship. She also killed all of the heirs to the throne, except for one baby, Joash, who was stolen away to safety. Six years later, the high priest Jehoiada overthrew usurping Queen Athaliah, established Joash as king, and restored the worship of Jehovah. In death, Jehoiada was honored by being buried with the kings of Judah. "Long front-name," sure, but what a great namesake!

Family Stories? Why?

According to research reported in the September 2013 Readers Digest, kids who know their family's past are more resilient. “The more children knew about their families' histories, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem, and the more successfully they believed their families functioned” (p. 33). The children were asked questions like “Do you know where your grandparents grew up?” Simple questions, but questions that demonstrate meaningful connections. The same children were given the survey during Summer 2001 and after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. In both cases, the children who knew more about their families were more resilient.

As an avid family historian, I am in possession of many stories about my family. Why not share them? Shouldn't my siblings, cousins, nieces, and so on know about the ancestor whose coffin purportedly floated down the street during a flood? Or the ancestor who fled Germany, supposedly because he didn't want to be a priest?

I will be posting stories about my family and my husband's family. I will include a surname in each blog title. I will also use tags to further label, describe, and sort blog entries. I would love to see other family members adding their own stories. I hope that this blog helps you feel more connected to our family; I hope that it peaks your intetest in learning more about them. And mostly, I hope that you enjoy getting to know our ancestors.