Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shaking the Tree

I've been working on a quilt - it's one crazy quilt.  There are lots of fabric colors and designs, and I had this insane idea to hand embroider over the seams.  The squares are uneven and the embroidery is crude.  It's a bit of a hot mess, but one of a kind.  And I am spending a LOT of time to finish it.

When my dad died, I realized I knew almost nothing about my family name.  My dad was the only child of essentially a single mother.  That's when I became interested in genealogy.  I've been shaking the trees on both sides of my family since then and I've been amazed and amused at what I have found.  I have learned that even though it's exciting to know you are a descendant of Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor (really!), at some point the names become meaningless without some backstory.




Here are a few back stories:
  • My great-grandfather served in the Civil War for the Confederacy.  Yes, that's right - my great-grandfather.  Generations in my father's family are very broad.
  • In about 1920, my maternal grandfather killed the town thug who assaulted his sister (as well as others).  After a grand jury was convened in my great-grandfather's store with my grandfather's brother as the state's attorney, my grandfather was found temporarily insane.  Needless to say, my grandparents bid a hasty retreat from Illinois to Texas to avoid the dead man's kin.
  • Back in my father's family, my seventh great-grandfather, Albertus Hendricks arrived in New Netherland in 1662, two years before the English renamed it New York.  
  • My second great-grandparents, James Hendricks and Sarah Kirkman Hendricks, were first cousins - yeah, intermarriage was not as rare as you might think.
  • My fourth great-grandfather, Churchill Hooper, put an add in the local newspaper in Davidson County, Tennessee in about 1800.  In the add, he disavowed any obligation to cover the debts of his married daughter Teddy, pointing squarely at his son-in-law.
  • The only known picture of my father's father, Jesse Hendricks, from 1912 - he's the third person from the right in the second row holding my father's half-brother Bill.    


This all reminds me of the quilt I am making.  It's just like my larger family tree - bright, colorful and embroidered, but also uneven, mismatched and crudely sewn.  God has been working on this masterpiece for a long time, so I figure I can give my one of a kind quilt a little more time.  I'll be sure to post a picture when I finish it.

cindy

Don't forget the GIVEAWAY for a Glitter Art Craft Kit from Creativity for Kids.  Get your entry in, the drawing is in the evening on Labor Day.