…to one of my 4th-great-grandfathers (of whom there are 32, out of all 64 of the ancestors that happen to be 6 generations preceding me).

A guy named Thomas Bilderback. He was born just before the American Revolution sparked, and lived through to 1831. His dad had been in the wilderness of western Maryland, Pennsylvania and (as it was then) Virginia, and even all the way out to the Mississippi River in the 1760s, and had hailed from the community near Philadelphia of the grandhchildren etc of Swedes who’d attempted to make a go of “New Sweden” near what’s now Philadelphia. This Ephraim Bilderback was also an eighth Indian (one of his four great-grandmothers was the daughter of a Lenee-Lappe chief). Which makes his son and the subject of today, Thomas Bilderback a sixteenth Native American. Fascinating.

The impetus for posting this picture of the sole remaining physical artifact of his life known to me is my recent discovery of a 4th cousin and our being related through this particular person. What’s more, and I’ll explain in the next post in more detail, is that this was learned through genetic testing…and what’s more, when I looked up the actual, precise genes this cousin and I share, they turn out to be genes that have what I call “tangible” expression; ie, not just genes for excruciatingly specific and mystifying functions on such a small scale that you can’t notice or care about it, but top-level, big stuff. And these neato nifty traits I’m referring to came down from the guy buried in the ground in front of that very tombstone! Fantastic!

Details and more in Part 2 and in Part 3.



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