So I'm trying to embrace by English roots now that I've learned my DNA results and I'm a great deal more English than German, and even less so-Irish. I've been running down several branches of my family tree and one that has eluded me is that of the Chapman family who moved into Marshall County during the 1840s. We've heard stories of Dr. Clarke Chapman, who graduated from LaPorte Medical School and rode horseback from his farm north of Argos to make house calls. And through research we found that his father, Ezekiel, lived in Argos as well. And the most fabled of family lore, was that Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman was a cousin who visited their farm. That never quite added up, but I had always hit a brick wall with any information earlier than Ezekiel, who lived in New York state.
But in my recent research I was able to connect a more senior Ezekiel to my Indiana pioneer, which led to a third Ezekiel in Connecticut, which led to the Chapmans of Saybrooke, Connecticut, who founded the town in 1635. Robert I came to America in 1635 from England and founded the town, his son, Robert II, and grandson, Robert III, lived and died in the New England town. The founder's grave is now unmarked, but his son's grave, my great x9 grandfather, is still marked with a stone that has one of the region's famously carved designs-a stylized primitive angel. I shared the photo with a friend and he immediately responded that it looked like the Starbuck's logo. Huh...kinda. I found that most Chapmans trace their roots to Robert I, likely Johnny Appleseed does too....but I haven't found that yet. Several more interesting stories have surfaced as well, but yet a few ancestors continue to elude me.
On this Thanksgiving eve, as I delved into the richness of our country's history reaching back to its foundations, I wonder what we are leaving in our wake. What will those who come after us say of our generation? For nearly 400 years we built, cleared, prospered and can be truly thankful for much. But for what will the generations that follow be thankful to our generation? I hope it's more than limitless Starbucks.