Her family comes from a rather unique religious background in rural Virginia.
My family history has always been very important to me, and I am glad to have the
opportunity to write a little bit about it. My grandfather had the greatest influence on me
when it came to world history and our family history alone. I learned through my grandfather
that I should preserve and cherish family history, how world history has affected my family,
and to continue to make my own history.
First, I would like to state that my grandpa, Asa * was born in Purcellville, Virginia in 1908.
He lived to the ripe age of 94; so needless to say, he witnessed a lot of world history. Most of
my knowledge on history, and especially my family history comes from my grandpa. Some of
this history is now carried on through the books he wrote with my great uncle, Werner. Their
collaborations are full of rich history, they wrote, "The Composition Book," "Ye Meetg Hous
Smal" and "A Medieval Virginia Town, 1914‐1919." Among these books, they edited and
published "The Ledgers of Israel Janney" and "John Jay Janney's Virginia." My grandpa did an
amazing job preserving history, and greatly influenced me to not only preserve it, but enjoy it.
In addition, my family comes from a Quaker background, which made their condition
fairly different than most during the years after World War II. I would like to point out that my
grandpa managed to avoid the draft as he stated were for two plain reasons, flat feet and
webbed toes. It took me years to learn that these were not the only reasons, and that my
grandpa was a very complex man. During the time of the Cold War, my grandpa had a local
store in Lincoln VA, and ran a farm in Purcellville VA. Living in a Quaker village it was obvious
that the Cold War was not the most important topic. Quakers do not believe in fighting, but
they believe in peace and balance. My grandpa made a strong point that our history was here,
in Lincoln VA. His other point was that what was going on around the world was important,
but everyone’s business is their own. When my grandma and grandpa would address any
hardships they went through during those years to present, they never mentioned it having to
do with the wars or worldly issues. With all the chaos that was surrounding my family at the
time, the most important thing was to preserve our family’s history, right where we were.
Lastly, after learning and witnessing the level of importance history had on my family I
am inclined to carry on what my family has started. Although my grandpa was more interested
in local and early American history, I find more of my calling to be in world history and
international relations. I will carry on the family history that I have learned, and relate it
strongly to how our history is now mingled worldwide. Where and what I do with my life will
be strongly reflected by what is going on in the world around me. I don’t know if I will do as
much as writing books on history like my grandpa and great uncle, but I’ll do my best to
preserve it in other ways.
In conclusion, history and my family go hand in hand, we cannot have one without the
other. Some of the greatest history I have learned is through the stories told by my grandpa,
which has now been passed on to the current generation. I’ll do my best to remember how
important preservation is, how my family maintained stable during all the hard times after
WWII, and how it is now my job to continue my own family history.
Rebekah D., “Rebekah D.,” Historical Memory:, accessed May 12, 2021, https://memory.ctevans.net/items/show/11.