Message From the Author

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Message From the Author ;
These Pages, Their Sources, and The Purpose of the Within the Vines Study
Sources and Intent: 
It has been my desire to present an historical family study which sedgeways the events of the history experienced by the persons catalouged in its genealogical study. As a result, Within the Vines has many pages of historical commentary linking to the ancestors forming its basis. While it is true that I love genealogy, I love history more, and genealogy is my vehicle to its study. 

Genealogically, great effort has been made to source all entries at each data entry in an effort to promote the health of the tree itself and to allow  others to evaluate the sources  for themselves.  I see no surname as more important than another; All lines have been treated with 
similar respect, although research on some lines is more advanced than others. Sources include primary reference material 
[census entries, deeds, baptism records, family bibles, wills, newspaper obits, orphans dockets, etc], interviews with living 
family members yielding solid "living history" to persons known to them in their youth, secondary sources such as books and publications relevant to the study of the genealogy of the particular line under consideration, and the work of fellow researchers via direct communication and webstudy. Each detail is sourced so that the reader can evaluate its merit for him or herself ; The reader is strongly encouraged to review the sources on each page. As with all genealogical studies, this work is imperfect. Please contact the webmistress for any omissions or errors encountered or thought to occur.

Persons included in this web study:
I include all known children of the direct family group.  For those children who were adopted thus giving meaning, fullness and vitality to the units into which they were gratefully enfolded , when known and where information does not conflict with privacy issues,  dual ascendancy is provided in awareness of the enormously precious gift of life that allowed them to become members of my family. Wholeheartedly included are those children in the direct family group who either died at birth or young childhood and likewise those who lived to adulthood but did not produce their own progeny. Often neglected, early infant loss and young children's deaths formed the pysche of our forebears, and  adult,  childless members of a sibling group frequently assured the vitality of the previous generation and / or their own , served to cement the alliances of the greater family group through their own childless marriages, and / or provided support and resources for the child producing siblings of their birth family group; Any omission of them or the details of their lives neglects the often important roles they played in forming circumstances assuring the continunity of the tree itself through its more obvious, child producing members.
Generally, I have ommited the detail on the children of siblings to our directs beyond mention of their lifespans and marriages. 
This rule is broken if an entry is of great historic interest or somehow folds back into our direct lines  in some way in later 
generations,even if folding back they fold back very distantly into our own direct lines.

About the Author and her familial history in Gettysburg and at the time of the battle:
I was raised a 6th generation Gettysburgian through many of Pennsylvania's  Adams County surnames, & inherent love for history 
was the battlefield's legacy to me.  In asking about the battle and its effect on our family, my father told me we  of the  Swope 
surname living in Gettysburg at the time [the John Adam Swope family] were "hiding in the basement as were all the other civilians". Huddled with his parents was my father's  grandfather,  Samuel McCurdy Swope  , then just a teenager and who would later figure in the development and commemoration of the battlefield. He told my father just what he did during the battle, and when he finally got into that basement with his parents, he was likely entertaining and terrorizing them with his morning's escapades,   for he had  just returned from Willoughby run, having  risen with the sun on what would be the first day of the battle, chatted up the cavalry there and got two men to agree to let them water their horses. But the boys watered the horses at Marsh Creek, became aware a battle had started, and had to return very near it and  to two frustrated and angry cavalry . THEN he raced home to his basement. Out very near where Sam had ventured at dawn was the home of my GGG Grandparents, Gabriel and  Nancy Baughman Meals. Later in the day, as a result of the fighting and in concern for her home she thought she saw in flames, Nancy and her daughter Lydia rushed in attempt  to save personal items only to find their home sound and occupied by several confederates, one of whom was eating an onion  as if it were an apple.  Lydia threatened him with her brother, then part of the artillery surronding the doomed southern force in possesion of their home,  while her mother cried out in alarm that she must hush.  They managed to get a few things, and scrambled back to town. Meanwhile, likely  in their own basement in town were my GG Grandparents John and Maria Troxell Slentz.  I suspect, but have not yet proven with conclusiveness that our Slentz family forebear of the era , John just named,  was a sibling to the tenant farmer in residence at the famous Slentz farm involved in the first days fighting at Gettysburg. 

When I wondered at our stand in the conflict, I was assured our Swopes were a staunchly abolitionist family. I have documented that truth.  But I have found other truths. I have a brother to my Hoke Family direct found in marriage to  the half sister (Sabina Swope.)  of my Swope direct.  Sabina was responsible for her family's removal to North Carolina, and among her southern grandchildren serving  are several esteemed generals and many brave enlisted , one family of whom lost two boys during Pickett's charge.   I have found that among my Howard Allied directs, the specifics of which alluded my parents and the unravelling of which has consumed several years of study, I have a  slaveless ancestor, Jabe McGehee of the McGehee family fighting in  the war he called  of Northern Aggression, and I have found slave ownership in direct lines spanning 1623-1820, always in Virginia, and often, paradoxically,  among the Quaker plantars arising from the Howard allied lines. This slave ownership appears to have begun unwittingly , involving  both Abraham Piersey and the John Woodson family  [via the 1623 precense of black Americans in the home of our Woodson forebears of Virginia before the term slave could be truly applied to any person of the American British colonies] , and appears to have ended in guilt, enlightenment,  and convenience via the will of John Pleasants, Sr who released more than 500 slaves in death and with his will. Unable to accomplish this act for reasons unknown to me before his passing, John Pleasants, Sr  left it for his family  to deal with the legislation and difficulties arising from white Virginia's unwillingness to have such a large number of its slave population emmancipated; The desire of his will took, sadly , 20 years to be accomplished. I have dedicated a page to those directs holding slaves not only for the substantial global historical significance of several of the  individuals involved [both black and white] but also in deference to fellow genealogists studying their enslaved ancestors, the patience for discovery of which requires fortitude beyond any brick wall I have encountered anywhere in my lines. See Slaveholders  Within the Vines.

Additional Info
These pages are formed from my own family tree which holds far greater detail on the family members and allied surnames [shamefully numerous in the data base] who are not direct to me  and which continues the study of the lines up to their European ascendancy and down,  generally, two generations from my own direct sibling member of a direct group. Frequently, particularly in the American colonies and  in the early United States, alliances between families persisted several generations and in studying the children of the non direct in a sibling bundle, their children, and their children's children, I have  been able to garner renewed meaning to the larger tree not always reflected in these pages.

I am grateful for the work of other researchers and genealogists of many generations with whom I have been in contact and/or who have allowed their work to be studied and evaluated and I have carefully noted all sources. If however, an ommision in source occurs, and it is recognized, kindly inform me so that I can include it in the data base.

This work is in Memory of my greatly missed Parents 
Through them, and with great love for them,  I present this study of their lines. 
TO: Vol I: Our American Immigrants  Surname List Immigrants Swope and Howard Allied and 
 Surname Introduction Swope and Howard Allied Combined, chronologically presented and by bio of  first Known Americans

BACK To Volume I: Our American Immigrants

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