Descendants of Fred Johnson, Jr. & Ora Lee Johnson
This picture was taken in August following the funeral of my mother-in-law, Ora Lee Johnson. These are most of her children, some of her grandchildren and a few of her great-grandchildren. It is a modern representation of the Johnson’s begats.
I was raised by my god-parents, extremely God fearing people and both were church trustees. Needless to say, I was always in church: Sunday School, Sunday Morning Service, HYPBC (Holy Young People’s Bible Class), Sunday Evening Services and mid-week Bible study. Every now and then we studied what was my least favorite Bible passage: the begats. I hated to read the begats.
An incomplete list of begats from Genesis 5 (KJV)
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:
And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:
And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters:
And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.
And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:
And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters:
And Cainan lived seventy years and begat Mahalaleel:
And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters:
And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.
And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:
And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters:
This list goes on and on and on!
This long list of people whose names were incredibly hard to pronounce was terribly intimidating. Truth be told, when I didn’t have to read aloud, I skipped the entire section of begats. I couldn’t figure out why it was important to know whose daddy was whose and why it was important to know all these people. Little did I know that decades later my time would be consumed with my own list of begats: ancestors who came before me and my parents. I want to know who begat them, who they begat, where they lived and something about their lives.
If I could turn back time, I would have asked more questions of my mother and uncles; especially my Uncle Owen. Uncle Owen, mom’s half brother, was 30 years older than my mother. He would have known more about my mother’s paternal line. Unfortunately, that was a missed opportunity that can’t be reclaimed. Mom is still living and her mind is pretty sharp but she has forgotten a lot of things; and there are a lot of things she never knew. She’s been as helpful as she can but she doesn’t understand what the fuss is all about.
These days I spend most of my money on two things: my grandson and genealogy. Internet subscriptions, books, pedigree charts, ancestry charts, workshops, conferences and travel – these are the items that fill my expense list. All of this to feed my curiosity of my family’s begats.