For 20+ years, I have assisted people with their family history research. I thoroughly enjoy the excitement of a new discovery and sharing it with a customer, seeing the connection that is made between the customer and their ancestor.
The stories of previous generations can be equally enlightening, inspiring, joyful, and sad but they are still our stories. We come from those tales and can find pieces of ourselves within them.
I have learned some of the origins of my familial pride and strength thanks to a travel article called "The Road to Morgantown," published in the Morgantown Weekly Post in 1866.
"... it's settled with Tennants from head to mouth, and it's Tennants here and it's Tennants there and it's Tennants in everybody's mouth. And they are the cussedest set of men to fight you ever saw in all your born days. Whenever they have a log rollin' or any comin' together of the people, their jackets are off, and the blood a flyin' and all hollerin' fair play ..."
I have witnessed my own persistence in the military records of both my maternal and paternal families. On my maternal line, Laban Exline lost an arm in the Civil War yet returned to service as a recruiter, refusing to let his injury prevent him. On my paternal line, Alexander Tennant was a three time volunteer in the War of 1812 when General Hull surrendered in Detroit. Alexander was paroled at Fort Defiance by pledging not to fight against the British. Being a patriot, he immediately rejoined and served another two years.
These are just examples from my own personal family journey demonstrating how we see ourselves in our ancestors. I believe all of us have a story and I want to help others find their own story.