BLOGanuary – #8: Far Back on the Family Tree

A BLOGanary question answered by Jackie (Love) Houchin


“How far back in your FAMILY TREE can you go?” asks today.

Well, let’s see.

My family tree goes back to Adam and Eve…for sure back to Noah and his wife. (Don’t we all?)  After that, it gets a bit muddled.

But in a nearer past, I can actually trace my forefathers and mothers back to the American Revolution. Yes, I could be a member of the “Daughters of the American Revolution” if I would bother to send in the forms and evidence. My aunt did. I probably won’t. But my 4th-back great grandfather, Benjamin Love fought in that Revolution, on the Patriots side. He was wounded, so didn’t fight long, but…nevertheless.

Back just three generations, there was some monkey-business in my family.

Amy Cordillia Love, my great-grandmother (standing in the back row of one of those old family portraits where everyone stared out flat-faced and grim) was one of ten kids, with only three brothers. Her own mother had died already, and her father (Abraham Love) looked like he ruled his daughters with an iron thumb, and a well-worn belt.

Three of her sisters were “Old Maids” and she probably didn’t want to end up like that.  She had a “fling” with (or was raped by??) a young German man named David Finfrock. (Yep, that could have been my maiden name, instead of Love.)  Her pregnacy was a shocking family disgrace. Unmarried, with the father of this “child” run out of town on a rail, she was hidden away.

She had the boy and named him Welty Leonard. Her father, the stern Abraham Love, unofficially adopted him and gave him the family name. Amy was confined to live in a tiny house (not the popular kind today) on one of her brother’s farms until she died. No one could visit her except her old maid sisters until much later.

She  lived there a long time.

(In the photo at right, it is not the light gray barn at the left of the drive, but the tiny house directly back. There are two stacks of hay in front of it. )

I saw that dark and gray house on a rainy day just last November when I visited my sister. I felt sad, but proud that she kept that son, my grandfather. Or else, I wouldn’t be here.


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