March 20, 2009

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I Want to Go "Home" Last week, my friend Tipper at Blind Pig and the Acorn wrote a post called "The Daffodil." She says, "Each spring, I ponder the Daffodil blooms I see in fields or in wooded areas - in other words blooming in the middle of no where - yet sending out a strong and mighty signal that someone once lived there." She can tell where her grandparents, great-grandparents, and other ancestors lived by watching for the blooming daffodils. I have thought so much about her story this week. Tipper lives in the place where her family has lived for generations. Her past is such a big part of her present.That's something I've always longed for. I've always wished I lived in a home my ancestors built. I want an attic full of old things that I can search through. I want to feel the past. I want to know where I came from. Most of my ancestors came West with the Mormon Pioneers between 1850 and 1885. They left behind their homes, their farms, and even their families. They settled in these valleys of Utah and Idaho in sod huts and log cabins that are long gone. We frequently make pilgrimages to these places - we visit cemeteries and feel the land under our feet. We tell their stories, and we remember. But I want more. I want to know about my distant past. Where did those pioneer ancestors come from? Today I found out. As I was thinking about Tipper's daffodils, I pulled out this picture from one of my mom's scrapbooks, and got to thinking.... (Photo courtesy of Dawn G. Perkins) What is Ceres, Virginia like now? Are there any daffodils growing where my ancestors used to live? My ancestors left Ceres, Virginia in 1881. I know that my great-grandfather, Henry Clay Heninger, came to Utah. And I know his parents - my great-great-grandparents - James Preston Heninger and Louisa Catherine Groseclose Heninger came too. Who did they leave behind? What was their life like in Virginia? I started doing a little online searching....and this is what I found. I have an ancestral Home! At Dean's Corner, Dean (my distant relative), tells all about my Groseclose ancestors - things I've never known before! I knew some names and a few dates, but very little about them - especially that their HOME IS STILL STANDING and being lived in. It even has an attic filled with treasures! The house was built by Peter Groseclose, Sr. (my 5th great-grandfather) in 1793, who built it for his son, Henry Groseclose (my 4th great-grandfather). It sits on land that was part of a land grant to Peter Groseclose signed in 1785 by the Governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry. I have an ancestral home! I can feel my roots pulling me back - back to a home I don't even know. And it all started with a little daffodil. The Groseclose clan is having a family reunion this summer. Should we go?! Photos of Groseclose...

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