Today, as I prepared to leave Edwardsville, Illinois, and head for home, I made several stops, one of which was to the Eden United Church of Christ.
In 1923, it was not yet part of the United Church of Christ but simply known as Eden Evangelical Church. I knew that it was where my father’s parents had married, and I was curious to learn what, if any, information was available in the church records.
The church secretary was able to assist me immediately and brought out two books.
While she looked through one book that seemed to be comprised of photo copies of the original documents, she let me leaf through the other book, the one dating back to the founding of the church in August of 1868.
As I carefully turned the pages of the book and read (with varying degrees of success) the handwritten record, I could not help but notice that for part of the 1870s, someone charged with keeping the record had a clear preference for writing in purple ink, and not a quiet, hard-to-miss, “could that be a deep aubergine” purple, but something more electric like Pantone Purple CP (which you can see here).
I continued past the purple script and on page 152, I found the record that referenced my great grandfather: on April 13 1873, Johan Heinrich Stahlhut, along with 12 others, had been confirmed.
With copies of pages that contained some of the information I sought, I stepped out into the heat of the impending summer which somehow seemed more real to me than the air conditioned church office with it’s book and the mysterious purple ink entries, and set out on my way which took me right past the yarn shop where the other day I bought this yarn:
so I could crochet a headband to coordinate with this t-shirt:
which I did:
I am increasingly startled at just how small the world is, both in time and distance.
In my great grandfather’s world, the distances I have traversed this past week would have been unthinkable. The ease with which I am able to share and retrieve information would be just as in comprehensible.
And what about my great grandchildren? Will I have any? And if I do, what records will they turn to in an effort to learn more about themselves by learning more about me.