Family get-togethers began in our family ions ago. That’s what families do—get together—if they like each other. Or not.
I have a picture of an Akin family reunion dated in the early 1900s. My Grandpa Thomas Elisha Akin stands in the middle of the back row, as good looking as Clark Gable. He’s surrounded by his wife, my great aunts and uncles, and a row of corralled youngsters sitting in front. His parents, Elisha Levi and Dora Alice Valentine Akin, born in 1851 and 1856 respectively, perch on chairs. There are so many relatives I’ve never seen nor heard about except tidbits here and there. Their lives are a mystery.
It makes me wonder about them. What did they talk about? What was Great-grandma’s favorite pastime? Did she make homemade biscuits as delicious at my grandmother’s? Did she hate the drudgery of doing laundry by hand? Did she discuss deep life questions with her children? Was my great-grandpa Akin one of those staunch, tough-as-nails men who didn’t know how to communicate? Like my grandpa and my father? What genes and traits were passed down to me and my family? Stubbornness? An inquisitive mind?
I was born an Akin and proud of it. With research, I traced our family history back across the United States to Arkansas, Georgia, New York, Rhode Island, and then to Dartmouth, Massachusetts and a Quaker community. Tracing farther back, our Oklahoma Akin family originally came from Aberdeen, Scotland, traveling to the U.S. in the mid-1600s.
Most of all, I speculate about their beliefs. Living in Scotland, did some of the Akins leave their homes during the Bishop’s Wars or because of religious or political persecution? Just why did they travel by boat to the U.S.? Perhaps someone has researched this and has more knowledge.
That would be an awesome trip—to travel to Scotland to see where the Akin/Aikine’s lived!
Did the Akins have faith in God to help them through the hard times? Perhaps their faith still lives on. My family trusts in God and still tries to follow His ways.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9
A thousand generations to those who love him. And keep his commandments. And it’s been less than ten generations back from me when my ancestors lived in a Quaker community. Maybe some of them were praying hard. Perhaps faith continues on just like our family reunions continue on, and that means I need to be praying for the next ten generations!