Genealogist Apprentice

by Mike Peters

In the summer before her first grade year, Katelyn Jane woke up, came downstairs and was petting our dog, a brown miniature dachshund named Wilt.  As her bowl of Frosted Cheerios awaited, she looked up and asked, "Dad, who was the first Peters?"

My eyes lit up!  Here is a question for an amateur genealogist!  Here is a question to which Dad knows the answer!  I sat down beside her, looked into inquisitive brown eyes and preceded to tell her that the first known Peters in our line was her ggggg grandfather Zachariah Peters.  I gave her our list of begats.  I went from Zachariah to Jordan to Jonathan to Daniel to Burton to Shelby to Michael and finally to Katelyn.  I felt confident in my reply.  That's my final answer Regis!

Katelyn Jane Peters

She thought for a moment and then clarified her earlier question, "No Dad, who was the first Peters to walk on the earth?"  That, of course, was a question that Dad could not answer.  But I felt good as I walked away with parting gifts.

For you see my daughter's question was appropriate.  As amateur genealogists, it is the direction that all of us travel.  It is the elusive game for which we hunt. It is why we post.  It is why we research.  In the end, we are all constantly striving to find the first of our line.

After this morning, I believe that there may be another family historian and researcher in our house.  Katelyn may just be the one that accompanies Dad to libraries, courthouses, reunions, antique shops and graveyards.  She has grasped an important concept at a very early age.

Life, my friends, is definitely good!


Mike Peters

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