Generational Rivers Run Deep

Tent and Log Shelter at Camp Ford. Tyler.Texas
Tent and Log Shelter at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas

Generational Rivers Run Deep

Who Am I?

In the musical version of Les Miserables, Colm Wilkenson as Jean Val Jean sings an incredible rendition of a song called Who am I?  This is the fundamental question confronting the heart and soul of every Border Child.  Torn between conflicting poles of identity, Border Children are forced by the circumstances of their existence to piece together a patchwork quilt of self-understanding, to choose a snatch of history here and a thread of heritage there, weaving it all into some meaningful sense of place and worth.

A Heritage of Culture and Biology

The Border Child’s genealogical heritage, both of culture and biology, can provide a rich source for answers to the existential “Who am I?”  By discovering life-changing events experienced by former generations, and the traceable influence of those events from generation to generation, Border Children can begin to recognize some of their own personality traits, habits, and attitudes.  What happened to great-great-grandfather may very well bear fruit in our own lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren.  Generational rivers do run deep.

Three Generations of Our Fenton Family Line

The Civil War Generation

The American Civil War created profound influences in the Fenton family line.  During the war Thomas W. Fenton (b: abt 1832, Guernsey, Ohio) enlisted in the Iowa Infantry and was wounded in the right leg during the Battle of Mark’s Mills in Arkansas.  Thomas was captured along with the entire remainder of the 36th regiment and held prisoner at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas.  When the war was over he returned north to Iowa and married Amelia Martin, who tragically died giving birth to their fourth child. (Click here to continue reading.)