Lessons May 9, 2017

Ancestry Lottery Sweepstakes

It’s easy to become intoxicated with the exotic, even where it concerns ancestral heritage.  Never is this more apparent than when observing people’s reactions to discovering how “ordinary” they are, as revealed by DNA tests.  Upon noticing the absence of Native American, Scandinavian (Viking) or some similarly trendy DNA artifacts; or the presence of evidence supporting genealogical links to cultures less valued by the individuals…

Lessons April 22, 2017

There is Power in His Name

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father – John 14:9 When I think about the use of names in my family and focus on just the Wilson side, it is impossible not to notice that some names play a starring role in my family’s story.  Starting with the first ancestor of whom I have information and progressing forward four generations, I count two appearances for…

Reflections April 12, 2017

I Remember the Wall

From my vantage point the Wall began at the intersection of Greenmount and North Avenue and continued almost all the way to Harford Avenue.  As a child of approximately six years of age, riding carefree, and innocently in the back of my father’s car, it was my North Star that pointed to my great, grandfather’s house on Broadway street.  When I saw the the Wall, I…

Reflections April 10, 2017

The Great Conciliator

The Great Conciliator is a title normally associated with the likes of Booker T. Washington because of his uncanny ability to adapt to radically different contexts and work within the existing frameworks to accomplish strategic goals where so many others fail.  My father was blessed with the same gift of camouflage and influence and never was this talent more on display than when acting as…

Family History April 8, 2017

This Is Us

There is an occupational hazard that comes from investigating family histories and one should not attempt it without donning  the “full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18), as some amount of unpleasantness is to be expected.  Indeed, an honest family history might read like an admixture of Bates Motel and This Is Us.  The adages my journey of discovery has chosen to emphasize lately are: history…