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He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread

Proverbs 28:19a KJV

The great mystery has been solved concerning the Gaylor family roots. After receiving my DNA results and signing up for a 14-day free trial, the shocking revelation of my heritage has been revealed. And, as I am quite sure you have been breathlessly awaiting the news of my forefathers storied past, I shall get right to the point. Nothing notable or spectacular was discovered. Although my family took part in the fight for freedom from England, and then later on to settle the matter of slavery, most of my people were farmers and horseman and common day laborers. I am not descended from royalty nor will the names of any of my ancestors be found in history books. No ties to the rich and powerful were unearthed in my research. They were all bread-and-butter sort of folks and I found myself quite pleased with that knowledge. They were the kind of common thread that cleared land and worked with animals and forged a life in the wilderness of a new land, and I am very proud to be in their linage.

The Gaylor family hails from Deutschland, and as far back as I can track, from a man named Caspar Gohler, who was born in 1550, probably from a region called Nassau, Freiberg, Sachsen. Queen Ann of England started the process of German and Dutch immigrants in order to colonize America, and this is what prompted Martin’s decision to leave Germany and come to America where they eventually settle in Oswego county, New York. On the other side of my family history, the Saxton’s of Cooperstown came from Ireland as a result of the siege of Limerick in 1651. Apparently, George Sexton fell on the wrong side of Oliver Cromwell.

But the story that meant the most to me was from an ancestor by the name of Michael Galer who was born in 1802 and settled in Middlefield, New York. He was a farmer who led a simple life working the fields surrounding Cooperstown. Michael was one of nine children with seven brothers in all. He married Sally Irish and together they raised their family with hand and plow. But it is not the way that Michael lived that impressed me, but the way that he died. At age 73, he suddenly collapsed and expired on the back of a hay wagon. (I hope to die on the back of a hay wagon.) His dear wife of 50 years, Sally, died the next day having been ill for some time. And what causes me to take notice of this event? Why am I so personally proud of Michael’s last breath? It is because even though the man’s heart was heavy, because his wife was dying, he pressed on. Michael Galer died working on the back of a wagon to provide for his family in the midst of a dark time in his life. The Bible states that if a man does not work, he should not eat. Apart from a spiritual life the most important heritage we can leave our children is a dedication to work for the ones we love every day of our lives.


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