Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wishful Wednesday – Great (and Great-Great-Great…) Grandfathers

Wishful Wednesday is a new blogging prompt that I saw on Geneabloggers this afternoon.  The idea behind Wishful Wednesday is to write about an ancestor that you wish you could have known personally.

When I first saw this, three men came immediately to mind; Barnabas Davis, the first of my line in America, Ernest Solomon Davis, my great-grandfather, and Charles Wesley Jenkins, Ernest’s father-in-law.

Barnabas, in particular, I find fascinating.  As I’ve mentioned before, he was the first Davis of my line in America, and I am the last, so we sort of book-end our family.  Aside from that, though, the man had a life full of adventure.  He crossed the Atlantic numerous times, spent time fighting both Indians and lawsuits, raised several children, and lived during the time of the Great Migration.  I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to sit down in front of a fire with him later in his life, listening to him recount his younger years.  It would be amazing to listen to a first-hand account of sailing across the ocean that many times.

Further down the family line, Ernest Davis, descendant of Barnabas, intrigues me.  First, thanks to my parents, we purposefully share initials.  Next, at one point in his life, he worked as a blacksmith, later he worked as a lineman for a local telephone company.  I find these two facts interesting as I enjoy working with tools myself, and I also, at one point in my life, worked in the telco industry.  Finally, I came across an old book of his one time, and he had signed the inside front cover, “E.S. Davis”, in the same manner and similar script as how I sometime sign my name.  I’d love to talk to him and see if we have anything else in common.

Ernest’s father-in-law, Charles Jenkins, as I mentioned in a previous post, is something of a mystery to me.  He took part in the Civil War, may have been born out west, but apparently lived in Massachusetts while the rest of the family lived in Vermont.  I have so many questions for him about where, why, and how he came to be in the places that he was.  From my research so far, he may have been near a few famous Civil War battles, but it doesn’t look like he actually took part in them.  I’m curious if it was circumstance or design.  For instance, did he really get sick a couple of days before Gettysburg, or did he know what was coming and found a way to serve without actually going into combat?  I may never know, but I’d sure love to ask him.

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