Grandfather Harry Daniels, Rachel Ann Daniels Philkill, Mahlon Philkill
WHO I AM & WHERE I COME FROM
Arlene Sandra Bice
Pre-internet years-chasing down the paper trail;
census, taxes, death certificates, birth, marriage,
and divorce. Name changes for many reasons.
Finding parents info, for they’ve been gone,
rarely spoke of their parentage or heritage;
information long gone before me.
Their grandparents-an interesting layer of ancestry,
coming & going, who is who, enlistments, uniforms,
cavalry, War Between the States; desertion, why?
A few stories remain, questions stay unanswered;
family secrets hide in dark corners. digging, digging, digging,
Filling in details, personalities emerge, talents, failings,
lies told, for what reason, what were their lives like,
what was happening in their world to influence their
Ah-h-h, history revealed, folded into daily life as it was.
I found a source of my genes, a mirror to hold up,
career, marriages, adventures, a survivor of life, self-made,
keeper of the keys.
It was in a public library, where the original Wills & Testaments
of Rachel Ann Daniels and her mother Sarah Ann Martin
were brought forth; holding the original documents in my hands,
touching the paper they held a hundred years ago.
Unembarrassed, I wept; tears streaming; my roots exposed at last.
This is who I am and where I come from.