Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Book

   Last week while Bro and Sis-in-law were visiting, we began talking about family as one is wont to do as we age.  I mean our ancestors.We talked about late grandparents and uncles that we remembered fondly.  I dug out Mom's old record of our ancestors, which we always called "the book."  It is a meticulously kept record of my mother's mother's family, the Dilts clan.  Opening it to the first page, we were confronted with Henry Dilts who married Anna Diels.  There were no dates here, but a list of their 8 children, the youngest being Jacob Dilts.  His name was ** with a note that said, "our line of descent."
Turning the page, I found that Jacob married Sarah Heath in 1782 and they had 9 children.  And thus the story began. (With their son, Asher.)
   We followed the line of descent to our grandmother, Sarah Martha Dilts, who was born in 1880 and died in 1961.  Bro and I remember her well.  A small, quiet lady who tended her kitchen and hens, and never said too much.
   Mom had kept "the book" up to date until her death in 1993.  I had entered my eldest grandson's name in there some time ago, but that was as far as it went.
   So, Bro and I updated it adding pages for my children and his, and listing all of our grandchildren.  There are a lot of updates that need to be made, but I am not sure who to contact anymore about births, deaths, marriages and etc. 
   Little is known about my mom's dad, James Elmer Burdge, but we do know that his parents were William Burdge and Eliza Jane (Ware) Burdge.  Born in 1874, Grandpa grew up in Indiana and  worked on the Dilts farm, near Lafayette, Indiana, as a hired hand, where he met, courted, and married my grandmother in 1902.
   It's fun to look how names were passed down, too.  My grandmother was named Sarah Martha, probably after Jacob's wife, and  Martha Jane was passed on to my mother.My grandfather was James Elmer, his son was Harry James.  Harry had a son named James Ross, and my mother named me James, and I named my own son James.  His son is Riley James, and the "beat" goes on!
   Such an interesting thing this family history, and it's all there thanks to Mom and "the book."
(Oh, I have a complete history of my dad's side of the family, too, but that's blog fodder for another time.)



Anvilcloud said...

How nice for you to be able to go back that far. My Mom passed on some history too but not as detailed or as much as yours.

Curley said...


Terry said...

What fun, JE. I'm in the process of writing an historical novel about the small farming community in north central Montana where I have my roots. The small community is comprised of homestead families rich in different nationalities, Dutch, German, Belgian, Scots, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, Fins, Metis, Blackfeet and others. I've been researching the genealogy (including mine)of some of these family lines included in the book. The name of the book is "Dryland" for the type of farming in which they pursued.
I'm fascinated by the research.