What began as a list of names, a box of documents, a number of family Bibles, and idle curiosity gradually evolved into a book about the settlement of Virginia and the western conquest of the great Valley of the Shenandoah, the birth of the New River settlements, and the emergence of the Watauga and Holston pioneers on the western slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. Placing the generations into a format of historic events began to bring these fugitives from the European wars and catastrophes into focus as real people. Since this story concerns the early foundation of this nation, the author did not choose to go back beyond the immigration from Europe. In a few cases, however, where the material was available and explanatory, it was incorporated into these pages. This does not mean that the more remote history of others was not available. It just did not contribute to the integrity of this book. The book is not a genealogy although it uses that structure to build the generations. And it is not simply a history. It is a perspective of history, demonstrated through the genealogy and migrations of one family. The whole is dependent upon each life among the hundreds of those who made this family possible. Make no mistake about it! The loss of a single one—just one!—and the people that followed would never have been born! The relations are carefully delineated. Children are named where it is possible. To this extent, it is hoped other lineages may find the book useful. The appendix contains copies from books and papers that might be difficult or impossible to obtain. It is important to realize that as the reader goes backward in time, the numbers of people become fewer. This means that the chances of interrelations increase as the two hundredth year marker of the past is approached. All of us share a kinship in the origin and the destiny of the United States of America!
The author is an eighty-one-year-old semiretired surgeon who still has an active office practice. Married to Ruth Seaman, the couple have three sons with several grandchildren. His interests include astronomy and music. He has written several articles that have been published in the surgical literature. He has built his own observatory and telescope and written music and lyrics for relaxation. He is listed in the National Registry of Who’s Who.