You can imagine my pleasure in opening an e-mail
and finding the message, "I've just finished reading
Dear Mama, Love Sarah, and I so loved being caught up in the story that
I wanted to write you straight away." Melody Di Piazza goes on to say
she is kin to Reuben and Sarah, and like for me, Sarah is our fourth
generation Great Grandmother.
One of the pleasures of writing from family histories is that you run into
kin you otherwise would never know about. After all, at the level of 4x
grandparents the number is 32 to share with some kin. We all have scads of
Melody goes on to say, "I was overwhelmed to stumble across your book.
It was absolutely delightful the way you took this couple out of the dank
of history and breathed such a robust life into them."
Melody and I have wondered about the same thing were it us living in those
difficult times. She states it very well: "Through these years of research
I had often wondered about Reuben and his Loyalist sympathies. We
Americans so readily wave the flag, and truly most of my own ancestors
were Patriots. However, I've always wondered what I would have done
and thought during those Revolutionary times. Would I have betrayed
my King and "God given" system of government I had been brought up
to love and respect? It is a complicated question and one I do not think
we can honesty answer today. "
Most family researchers are delighted to find "stories" of their ancestors.
We are just as likely to draw conclusions and judge harshly some who have
been considered "black sheep." I like Melody's point of view:
"One thing I learned decades ago in this business of family researching
is not to judge my ancestors. They were who they were in the times and
places they lived. We cannot ask them to live by our mores. I must
compliment you on your writing as I found myself engrossed in the Loyalist
cause. You did a splendid job of building Reuben's case while setting
Sarah's misery against it. What a heart rending time it must have been
for the entire family. Thank you for writing a lovely tale of what might
To Melody, my heart-felt thanks for your comments and insight.