It is week 25 in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge. This week’s writing prompt is Unexpected. Unexpected? The one thing I have learned in more than two decades of genealogical research is to expect the unexpected. You never know what you are going to uncover! Take for example my recent “religious” findings…
Posts Tagged With: Christianity
According to family lore, when I was just a newborn, my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother wanted me to be christened. However, my father interceded, saying that when and if I were baptized, it should be something that I knowingly would choose. His stance made sense to my mother, and I was not baptized as a baby.
In the early 16th century, religious reformation swept through Europe. The schism between the Catholic Church and those protesting its overreach and corruption gave birth to Protestantism. Because of differences of opinion and interpretation of scripture, several Protestant sects emerged. One group was the Anabaptists, who believe that to be baptized, a person must first confess his/her faith in Christ. (For this reason, Anabaptists do not believe in christening infants.) From these Anabaptists came three “plain” communities: Amish, Mennonites, and Brethren with Amish being the most conservative.
Starting in the early 1700s, many Anabaptists immigrated to the Americas. In both my and my spouse’s family trees are individuals who practiced (or still practice) these Anabaptist faiths. It is because of my ancestral connection to these religions that I decided to venture beyond my historical fiction “comfort zone” and explore a new genre: contemporary Amish fiction.
When selecting a historical fiction or nonfiction book, I often will choose one “related” to my family, whether it is biographical in nature, is set somewhere our ancestors have resided, or is about a historical event in which our forebearers participated. Because of the setting and some of the characters’ surnames, I was eager to read The Light Before Day, written by Suzanne Woods Fisher.
The Light Before Day takes place on the island of Nantucket, home to a few of our families’ predecessors. In October 1641, the island of Nantucket was deeded to Thomas Mayhew, my 11th great-grandfather. Eighteen years later, Gov. Thomas Mayhew sold interests in the island to nine men, reserving 1/10th interest for himself. These investors included Tristram Coffin, my 11th great-granduncle and direct ancestor of the main characters, and Christopher Hussey, my spouse’s 10th great-grandfather.
In a small square within walking distance of Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, a mother and her young daughter are enjoying one another’s company while sharing an ice cream cone. Suddenly, two men attack, and a family is fractured. Another unholy act has tainted this holy city.
Now, it is up to two lawyers from Atlanta—Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli, and Jakob Brodsky, a Russian-American Jew—to make the terrorists pay for the wrongs they have done.