THE REASON I DO GENEALOGY
I began working on my ancestry even as a child when I would sit with my Grandmother and insist that she show me her pictures of family and tell me who they were, asking for stories of her life on the farm. When she died I inherited her family pictures, the Rehmus family Bible from Germany, plus several family stories passed to me by Mom and her siblings.
I began serious research when my children were born in the 1970's and over the last 50 years I have become the "keeper of the ancestors".
Like many others I cannot just let my ancestors lie in the ground without honoring them, without trying to let the rest of world know they existed. My own Father once asked me "Why your interest in all these Dead People?" I said, "Dad, if it hadn't been for 'all those Dead People, you wouldn't be walking this earth today." That satisfied him and he began helping me, telling stores of his parents, relatives, etc. And before he died at the ripe old age of 98, we had found and honored his Grandfather who lay in an unmarked grave in Hartford Memorial Cemetery, Sebastian County, Arkansas. William Hardy Hearn was a Confederate soldier and his VA supplied stone was set with all the regalia of a re-enactment of the local chapter of the CSA and ending with a six gun salute. When the Sergeant of that Chapter ** presented my Father with a folded Confederate flag, Dad beamed with joy. He told me later he was never more proud of his family that he was that day.
As to my Mother's side, it all began with a typewritten page put together by my Mother's sister during the time their Father was ill, about 1955. "The Rehmus Ancestors" she called it and on one page was enough information for me to really begin 'digging'. One of Mom's brothers was my 'partner in crime' and we would drive all over Perry and Washington Illinois
counties looking for graves, cemeteries, etc. Another brother (since deceased) still owned the family farm which had been in the family since 1872. My cousins still farm the property to this day.
An old Russian Proverb states: "You live as long as you are remembered." It is my intent to make my ancestors live forever!!
** FAG #21531048 - Justin Wayne Morgan was the young man who presided over the re-enactment ceremony for my g-grandfather. He was killed in a coal mining accident in Hartford, Arkansas six years later. May you rest in peace, Justin.
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