Welcome readers!Some of you have asked why this website exists and why have I researched my family tree. Perhaps this discourse will answer some of your questions.
The inspiration for the genealogical research presented in this website came primarily from my two grandmothers, Lydia Foth Bredthauer and Emma Rewinkel Eggert, both of whom documented our family history. I used their work in my first family tree, prepared as a high-school English homework assignment.
The impetus for my grandmothers was the desire to document our family, knowing that God has created all of us in His image. We are not merely creatures of the world, for in each of us there is a spark of the Almighty. This is perhaps the most foundational concept behind any functioning society, for it means that we are all to be treated with respect, honor, and love. It is, in fact, the principle behind the Golden Rule.
As Robert Louis Stevenson wrote,
We are all nobly born; fortunate those who know it; blessed those who remember.
Paracelsus expressed a mystical, physical understanding of our special creation, relying on Genesis 2:7, in his posthumously-published Astronomia Magna:
Dann da iſt nichts das bleiblich iſt/ vnd alſo iſt in das fuͤnfft weſen kommen/ alle Natur der ganꜩen Welt/ der entpfindtlichen vnd vnentpfindtlichen/ vnd gefaßt worden in ein Fauſt zuſammen/ in ein Maſſam/ das hat der gethan/ der Himmel vnd Erden beſchaffen hat/ vnd auß demſelben fuͤnfften weſen/ das die Geſchrifft Limum Terrae neñet. Auß dieſem Limo/ hat der Schoͤpffer der Welt/ die kleine Welt gemacht/ den Microcoſmum/ das iſt den Menſchẽ. Alſo iſt der Menſch die kleine Welt/ das alle eigenſchafft der Welt hab in ihme. Darumb iſt er Microcoſmus/ darumb iſt er das fuͤnfft weſen/ der Element/ vnd des Geſtirns oder Firmaments/ in der obern Sphera/ vnd in dem vndern Globo.
For there is nothing that is permanent, and thus into the fifth essence came all natures of the whole world, sensible and insensible, and were gathered together into a fist, into a mass by the One who created heaven and earth; and from the same fifth essence which the Scripture calls "Limum Terrae". From this dust the Creator of the earth made the little world, the microcosmos, which is man. Thus man is the little world that has all the characteristics of the world in him. Thus he is the microcosmos, thus he is the fifth essence of the elements and of the heavenly bodies or firmament in the upper sphere and in the lower globe.
This special connection between God and man, established in the first Adam, found its completion, and we our reconciliation and salvation, in Jesus Christ, the second Adam! As Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:9–10:
Ὑμεῖς δὲ γένος ἐκλεκτόν, βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα, ἔθνος ἅγιον, λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν, ὅπως τὰς ἀρετὰς ἐξαγγείλητε τοῦ ἐκ σκότους ὑμᾶς καλέσαντος εἰς τὸ θαυμαστὸν αὐτοῦ φῶς· οἵ ποτε οὐ λαὸς νῦν δὲ λαὸς θεοῦ, οἱ οὐκ ἠλεημένοι νῦν δὲ ἐλεηθέντες. (SBLGNT)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (ESV)Or John, more to the heart, in 1 John 3:1a:
ἴδετε ποταπὴν ἀγάπην δέδωκεν ἡμῖν ὁ πατὴρ ἵνα τέκνα θεοῦ κληθῶμεν, καὶ ἐσμέν. (SBLGNT)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (ESV)
May you, God's children all, read, ponder, and respond in this spirit!