Years of family history research have taught me that a person's life doesn't rely only on a heartbeat for survival. When done properly, family trees are as vibrant and living as any tree in the ground. The ink on census records and in journals are whispers from the dust, waiting to be heard.

The voices in my history are dominantly from the American South, from Virginia and Tennessee. Some of them would fight in the Civil War--a few would live, but many would die. Most of them were farmers--marrying young with very little money, then spending a lifetime multiplying and replenishing the earth. Those who live long lives divide their land among their children, to begin the process again. Like the crops they live by, their story is one told in seasons of growth and plenty, devastation and loss.

Everything I am is because of who they were. As I strive to know them better, I believe that I am preparing to see them again. Eternal life wouldn't be heaven without them.
One branch, one page at a time, I gather them home...