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 tends to repeat itself and ignorance is bliss. If you were genetically predisposed to have a higher risk of heart disease would you want to know this well in advance of experiencing a life-threatening event related to the condition? Most would undoubtedly say yes, yet where it concerns family matters health information asymmetry is only one of many possible disadvantages that can be mitigated. I therefore see great value in attempting to understand my family’s history in great detail and not just the good parts.
At 14:00 on 6 April, 2017 (New York time), my uncle and I started the process of joining familial connective tissue which was disconnected before my grandparents were conceived. I met a close cousin and elder of my father’s maternal lineage that no one on our branch of the family knew existed, as a result of a scandal that took place in circa 1927. The controversy would lead to an effective dissolution of the union between the 11 tribes of Wilson; the heads of which are: Otis James, Bernard, Ernest James, Everett, Benjamin, Henry Kinard Jr., Roosevelt, Iola Lois, Harriet (A.K.A. Wheat), Charlotte, and Etheil. 90 years later the lost tribe returns, makes a new covenant and is armed with knowledge of self.