Tag Archives: family

Ancestors: Not Always People of the Past

A verbatim email I received, which shows the virality of the Internet at its best.

Dear Hannah,

Yesterday, I was searching for Kidwell (Zedekiah 1806-1880) descendants and found your nice Mar 2013 article of your grandmother Geraldine Potts.

Grandma and I laughing at the dinner table the year before she died.
Grandma and I laughing at the dinner table the year before she died.

Then I find her Feb 2014 obituary.  I believe Zedekiah Kidwell was a son of Thomas Kidwell and had a sibling of Frances Kidwell Waters (1817-1864).   

Thomas Kidwell married Feb 18 1801 in Loudoun Co VA to Elizabeth Freast. In the 1940s, two relatives who were researching first generation Johannes Furst/Fierce determined that Elizabeth was a granddaughter of Johannes Furst and daughter Christian Fierce.  At that time in late 1700s and early 1800s, there were various spellings of the last name. 

Christian’s children left Loudoun and moved westward and the male children took the spelling of Fierce.  The research in 1940 identified other children of Christian, one of which was my ancestor Conrad Fierce (abt 1777-1840).

I think Thomas died before 1820 and I have found his wife Elizabeth moved west with her daughter Frances Kidwell Waters. (Zedekiah was a witness to the 1839 marriage of Frances to Elmore Waters.  Also, when Zedekiah married again in 1878, a Loudoun County researcher shows his parents as Thomas and Elizabeth)

Your ancestors from Zedekiah to you are as follows:

Zedekiah Kidwell and Mary Ropp

  Samuel Kidwell and Henrietta Shaffer

     Linda Kidwell and Walter Potts

        Geraldine Potts and Robert James

           Linda James and Marty Hager

I have never been in contact with anyone living In Loudoun County about ancestry.   I didn’t notice until yesterday about who wrote the article.  Since 2000, I have added about 20,000 names to a first generation Johannes Furst/Fierce family tree maintained by another descendant who had about 1,000 names.  Of that number, about 1,000 names are from Frances Kidwell and Elmore Waters. 

I link articles of living or recently living Fierce descendants to other Fierce descendants.  I will be linking your interesting article in emails to others.

Since you have a gmail address at the end of the article, then I wanted to give you a heads up in case a Fierce descendant contacted you.  Also, I found your 2011 interview online (youtube) with Harmon Killebrew.  This past year, I have now seen baseball at all of the 30 Major League Cities.

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You are so special to me

You are so special to me.

It’s in the signature of grandma’s letters. It’s a phrase reiterated in person and it’s a phrase that resonates after her death.

It’s a phrase to remember her because throughout my life she proved it was true.

I will remember her hands as they stirred through the steps to creamy, homemade fudge in an attempt to satisfy the sweettooth we’ve all inherited.

I will remember her excusing herself from a room of company only to reappear with a slash of bright pink lighting her lips. Always a lady.

I will remember her candor in agreeing Pop Pop was a good looking man — but only when he had hair.

I will remember her hands as never still even after she could no longer sew or write. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

I will remember her hanging laundry from the clothes line behind her house as the wind whipped down from the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I will remember last spring when she hobbled out to her vegetable garden, and having been dissatisfied with its state, bending down and weeding it herself.

I will remember the last time we sat on her porch on a beautiful spring day and her instructing me to listen to the birds, slow down and hear God.

I will remember her telling me that this is my life to live after I had decided to move to New York and was coming to terms with the real possibility that she could pass away without a goodbye.

I will remember her belief that I will return to Virginia because it’s where I came from.

I will remember her summoning the strength to whisper for the last time that she is proud of me.

I will remember thanking her for setting an example of how to live my life as a woman and as a Christian. And, I will remember when she could no longer speak, that I was able to say for her:

You are so special to me.