I stayed up till 1:30 am one night tracing it all the way back, as far as I could, until Krabill was spelled Krayenbuhl and there were names without dates.
No Native American that I could find, though I’m not done yet.
I have a new fetish: ancestor hunting. I chased them back across the ocean, deep into the 1500’s.
I didn’t know an eighth of my heritage is of France, so many generations living and dying on French soil, even during the Revolution. I didn’t know I had men named Jean and Pierre and Christ Widmer d’Epiquere in my ancestry.
I didn’t know my family tree grew thick with Anne’s (Anna, Anneli, Annely) and Christ’s (Christian) and Catherine’s.
I didn’t know that once I started hunting, I would find it impossible to stop… that the seeking would sharpen into one burning, wordless question in my mind. The closest I can come to its meaning is—why?
I can’t tell if it helps, if the chasing and the scribbling are worth anything. But it becomes desperately important that someone knows their names, that someone cares when they were born, and where.
We know nothing.
Who were they?
I assume I am the apex, all the angles pointing up to me, but I’m not. In two hundred years, will anyone know my name?
Life grows in circles, back into the ground. I pray that the richness will bear fruit as it passes out of memory, out of time.