Family trees can be quite interesting ... that is, interesting for a family that lives in that tree! The family tree in which Jesus grew up was known as the House of David. Of course, his genealogy was important to his immediate family; you know, his dad and mom, his four brothers -- James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. I forgot the names of his sisters.
But the family tree of Jesus was also of interest to other Jewish families in Palestine, for the Messiah (or Christ) would come from the fruit of the Davidic-Tree. Fortunately for Jesus, he was able to discover his own family tree by browsing through the records kept by Matthew and Luke.
The family tree that follows is probably not of much interest to anyone outside of my immediate family. The beginning of my story takes place about a hundred years ago in southwestern Ohio and is a true account of my ancestry. It is the ‘Jackson Brewer Family-Tree’, which has produced some curious fruit. Jesus reminded me that a tree is known by its fruit.
Around the turn of the 20th century, nuptial vows were taken, one after another, by the four sons of Jackson: Otto, Charlie, Jesse, and Stanley. Otto courted and married his lovely beau, Etta. I recently discovered that the meaning of Etta is ‘pearl’ (the name was quite common in those days).
Charlie fell in love with a different woman named Etta, and they soon tied the knot. The third brother, Jesse, was engaged to his sweetheart, Etta (not to be confused with the aforementioned Ettas) and these lovebirds also wedded.
Each of these three brothers found their special pearl, whom they treasured for the rest of their lives. However, the fourth brother, Stanley, could not find an Etta, so he ended up marrying a Lulu (which, as a slang term, means ‘some-thing outstanding or unusual’). Nonetheless, Lulu was not an Etta. In due time, however, Lulu gave birth to their only child, a son. Stanley and his Lulu named their child Harvey, who married my mother, and their first baby was me.
I have some scattered memories of my grandfather, Stanley, who died when I was only twelve. I remember visiting him on several occasions in his home and working in the fields with him on Dad’s farm -- and on my grandfather’s farm, as well. But I never met my grandmother, Lulu, who died at an early age; I was only two.
Nor did I know my great-uncle Ott’s Etta, though I do vaguely remember my great-uncle Charlie’s Etta – a rather petite lady. On the other hand, I do hold fond memories of visiting my great-uncle Jesse and his Etta in their home in Springfield. Mom and Dad referred to this particular Etta Brewer as Jesse’s Etta, to be distinguished from Ott’s Etta and Charlie’s Etta. At family reunions or social get-togethers, I wonder if the Brewer brothers referred to each of their three Ettas in that very same manner as I do? I wonder?
What are the chances that each of three brothers would marry a woman named Etta? And what a miracle it was that each brother met the right Etta at the right time?
Do you know about your genealogy? Are there any lulus in your bloodline? What was the name of the tree that produced such lovely fruit … as you?