A Little Corner of the World

While taking a break from my research, my husband and I decided to do some more research. Old habits die hard I suppose. Anyway, my husband temporarily caught the research fever from me and decided he wanted to trace his ancestry back to its roots so that our children can know where they came from (If I could love him more!). He knew he had Scottish and German roots and I knew I had, for sure, Polish ancestry. But beyond my great-grandparents emigrating from Poland to America, I knew little about my other ancestors. I didn’t know my maternal grandmothers parents (she claimed a lot of things and we took them with a grain of salt) and my father only knew an arms reach back on his father’s side and a vague hint that his mother was French. Thus, with those tidbits, I began my hunt.

Now I must say, I got a lot more than I bargained for. Where my husband was able to trace back pretty far on his grandmother’s side, it has stopped so far in the U.S., which is not all that helpful, though we know it is still and Irish/Scottish/German line. On his father’s side, we are stuck on a man called Reuben (or Reubin…). But we are still searching. On my side, however, I found a lot. I learned that the majority of my family came from a little section between the corners of Germany, France, and Switzerland. Also, some more recent members are from Ireland, Scotland, and England. For the latter, I found that I have ancestors that fought in the Seven Years War, American Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. How cool is that? Those are found a little ways back on my Dad’s Paternal side. But on that side I also found what appears to be some minor Swiss houses that go back to the 1100’s. On the Scottish side of my dad’s line, I found a group of people that came from the Isles and settled in the same general area, Maryland, that can be, loosely, traced back to the man whom the Macduff, Thane of Fife of Shakespeare’s play was based off of. As an English major, that last tidbit may have been my favorite. Today, there is a city called Macduff in Aberdeenshire, the location where my ancestors came from.

I was also able to trace back my paternal grandfather’s line well into their time in Frace, about the mid-1600’s. This was the first line I was able to successfully trace. I knew they came from France, but I didn’t know when or where. Also, some came from England, though they were married here in the States. Suposedly there are some lines to some earlier people here in America,  but I have yet to find if those are accurate records or just stories told and exagerated over time.

On my mother’s side, I can only go back about 10 generations. Which, all things considered, is actually quite good. But I only know that the came from Germany and not much else. Unsurprisingly, I found many Lutheran’s on both sides of my family, that made me smile just a bit. But the people on both my mom’s side and my father’s side always seemed to end u in either Ohio or Pennsylvania, the latter of which was more likely. And this happens to be where my Great-grandfather came and settled when he came from Poland. Though my family ended up moving, it was interesting to know that they came getting closer and closer together, eventually ending up in a coal mine within Pennsylvania.

While I recognize this is off the beaten trail of my normal topics, I thought it interesting to share. In doing this, I saw that my ancestors basically come from the same place. In regards to my research, this places me directly in the path which Gomer and his descendants would have taken. Now I likely cannot follow every single ancestor to him, i can get the general idea. From here, cities, kingdoms, tribes, and estates were built, long before the division of the countries were made, those we know today. It is quite fascinating. But I hope that once I am finished with my book, others can go back and do the same. They can find they are descended from Ashkenaz, or Javan, or Shem, or Cush, even Mizraim! Perhaps this will show what a “small world” this is after all and that we were all lovingly made by a great God.

Thanks for reading if you got this far. I will try to get either an update or a book review up soon. I am still working on the Amorites (*sigh*). But as always, blessings to you and yours,

~Rose

The Canaanites

Since my last post I have been working on the sons of Canaan. There are eleven total and I still have three left. I was hoping to have them done by now, but my husband and I had a Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremony to attend and we are traveling this weekend. The excitement never ends!

But between all of that, I have still managed to get through most of these sons. The way I have been starting most of the chapters on these sons is by first going through all of the references in the Scriptures. For some of them, they are only mentioned in the two genealogical records, sometimes they also have cities named after them, other times I find them on every other page of the Old Testament! It has been quite fascinating to study the Scriptures like this.

For one, I do not think most people realize how much the Canaanites are mentioned in the Scriptures. I would not say they are “important”, per se, but they are found throughout the timeline of Scripture. And many of them do play very important roles. Take the sons of Sidon, for example. They became the Phoenicians, probably the best known of the Canaanites. While they were not necessarily praised in the Scriptures, they engaged in commerce with Israel for many generations. Some of the people even lasted to the time of Jesus, and He ministered to a woman from that area. The same ministry happened after Pentecost when some early Christians went to the area of Tyre and Sidon. How amazing is that?

Other Canaanites built cities that were enveloped by the Phoenicians or were swallowed in the greater scope of the Canaanites. But others were remembered for some time. For one, the city of Jerusalem was once inhabited by the Jebusites, the city itself called Jebus after its founder. Long after David conquered the city, there were some Jebusites that lived there. In fact, David bought a threshing floor from a Jebusite and built an altar to God after He struck Jerusalem for David’s sin. Later, the Temple would be built on this site. One of David’s friends and warriors was a Hittite named Uriah. While David sinned greatly against him and his wife, God still worked for good through it and Solomon was born. Other specific Canaanites are mentioned throughout the Old Testament, but to discuss them all would take too long here. After all, that is why I need to write a book!

Also, it shows that the not all of the Canaanites were these doomed, cursed people whom God hates. This is the picture that most people paint or imagine for the Old Testament – that God loves slavery and these people were cursed to serve.  But this is simply not true. While many of them did serve, some played key roles in history, as discussed. One group, the Gibeonites, were subjected to serve because they tricked the Israelites. Even so, Israel defended the Gibeonites when other Canaanite tribes fought against them. And many served because they were part of a conquered nation, as was common at that time. Still, many held their land and lived as many other Israelites. There were still many kingdoms to the north that were never conquered, such as the Hamathites who were likely not part of the inheritance of Israel. That king had a good relationship with King David, especially after David defeated a mutual enemy. Moreover, there are some passages implying that some of these people worshiped the Lord, though many led the Israelites astray in later times with their false gods. And in fact, it was because of this latter part that God wished them to be wiped out, for they had served gods that would lead the Israelites astray and the Canaanites had turned from God.

Even with all of this research found, I am still not done. I have postponed three of the sons due to their scope in research. The Hittites are next and they will prove interesting, but they will take time to write about. Until recently, the Hittites were only known through the Scriptures, and many discounted their existence because of that. But since then, researchers have found that there were actually a great kingdom. After this I will move on to the Amorites, which I will be honest, I know little about save that they are frequently mentioned int he Scriptures. I am looking forward to learning more. Similarly, the Sintes are barely mentioned int he Bible, and yet I think they will play a crucial role in Asia, and that is something I am quite interested in learning.

Thus, I am off to adventures this weekend, which will put my writing schedule on hold, but it will be all the better to get back to it next week. I look forward to all of the history the Scriptures and the world has in store for me to find and share, all of which demonstrates our ancestry to Adam.

Blessings to you,

~Rose

Researcher’s “Block”

Most people have probably heard of writer’s block. This comes in a variety of forms: interruption, lack of focus, multiple projects, too many ideas, or procrastination. I personally find the final one the common definition for most college students. As a writer, I stumble into the mind of writer’s block from time to time, which should be expected, and I usually find my way out. Sometimes it takes putting my work away for a time, or perhaps I have to take a broad look at what it is I am writing before I can continue. Thankfully, I was blessed with a worrier’s mind and a proactive spirit to avoid procrastination. In the case of my book, I set myself a goal: finish the “draft” by the end of December 2017. And thus far, I have been keeping in time and even reaching ahead of this goal. But I seem to have hit something I am calling researcher’s “block”.

As of today, I have “finished” my section of Put, or Phut, the third son of Ham. I say that tentatively because I know I will go back at some point and polish my work up. A week ago, I would have written this with excitement, or at least with a sense of accomplishment. Instead, I am here today and I am discouraged. I have been for some time, but I thought if I drew a little, played some guitar, go to a conference (which was awesome, by the way) with my husband, and read a book for fun, I would be able to return to my work with my previous fervor. And yet, I feel lost. Half of the time, especially with this “second” section of my book, I feel like I am walking in circles in my mind. I told my husband last night that it feels like my head is running in circles and it cannot stop. Where do these trails lead? Am I even making sense?

The issue came down to that no matter how much I researched, I could not find the answer I was looking for. It was as though I had hit a dead-end, and far too early for my liking. They always come, but not usually so abruptly. The same was true for this morning as I continued and concluded my writing. The fact is, there is no research. No matter how much I look, no one has done a study on Phut (or Put, the spelling adding to my issues). I am doing it! I told a former professor once that it is frustrating looking for answers when no one has or has been willing to find them. Instead, I am on a one-person team going up against the modern interpretation of history and trying to bring it back to Genesis, as there is no better word, the beginning.

Honestly, it is discouraging. No one has done biblical research on Africa. Phut, after all, was one of the forefathers of Libya in northern Africa. Actually, so little is known about Africa outside of Egypt and Ethiopia. It is as if those two countries, the false “curse of Ham”, and evolution are the only interesting things about Africa to most researchers of various fields.  Of course, part of my goal is to disprove that last “intrigue”. Anyway, beyond these nations, nearly all of the records are absent. Now I recognize that the vast language difference and the prevalence of oral history results in a lack of information. But it is discouraging nonetheless.

So I am hitting a researcher’s “block” today, but I am not finished. There was still information to be found; I still found records that correspond to history as found in the Scriptures. I am put down, but I will finish my work. For I am doing this because no one else has done it and I know it needs to be done. I am doing this to show the unity of mankind. I feel called to write this. In the end, I want to show the harmony between God’s word and ancient history, that we are all truly of “one blood” and that God wants all to come to a knowledge of Him.

Today and this past week I have been discouraged, and yet, I have finished this section so I can now move onto the next. Canaan and his intriguing people are next, and I believe there will be no shortage of information and intrigue with his people.

Hoping for better spirits and blessings to you all,

~Rose