The Rules of Genealogy
(a contemplation of the word "jantelagen")
A hundred thousand cousins share my blood.
My petty personal history pales compared to theirs.
Skilled botanists and jurists, doctors and librarians.
I scarce untangle their lives' filament.
Who'd they love? How'd they think? What drove them?
I struggle, as narrator, to translate them to paper.
Grandma Heritage, where are you when I need your expertise?
You never focused on black sheep like Crazy Tom (but I found him).
My story, a small one, soon forgotten.
Astride time, I scribe their sagas in the dust.
- January 1, 2017
To find out what I learned about "Crazy Tom," a relative who tried to build a castle by himself, visit this history of Bucks County and do a search on the page for "Thomas Meredith." His cousin and caretaker, James, was my direct ancestor.