My great great grandfather, James Baxter, an English-born Scot, sailed to America in 1868. After making his way across this vast country, he and two friends were among the first homesteaders in Howard County, Nebraska. That was March, 1871.
One hundred and forty-one years later, at the end of a chilly December afternoon, I loaded my father and brother into the car, with no hint of where we were going.
Thirty minutes after that--cold gravel crunching beneath our feet and broad, rolling pastures, as far as the eye could see--I told them where we were: Grandpa's homestead.
Their silence spoke volumes, as both men stared out over the expanse, imagining grass and cattle and children and family. After a moment, Dad asked "Where's the nearest creek?" knowing that would have been James's first priority. My brother quietly turned to me with awe-filled eyes. "Really? Really?"
To them, it may simply be a happy memory, but to me, it was hearing the whisper of James in my heart, saying "It's a pleasure to meet you, my family."
That's what genealogy is. Does. Can be.
Let's discover your story, together.