Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Little About George Richard Knight

George Richard Knight

The phrases “Family Tree” and “Roots” ardently represent our genealogy, our familial past, present, and future. These metaphors almost perfectly symbolize any given point in our journey through life. As living beings each of us represent the trunk of a tree, singular, erect. Those who have come before are the roots, many times (literally) buried beneath the ground; the nutrients from dirt and water flow upward, supplying the trunk with the necessities of life. Of course those who follow after us--our offspring--represent the limbs, ever expanding, moving farther and farther from the ground, the trunk, and the roots. All connected—all reliant upon each other. Seeds from the tree fall and create their own trees, and the process continues forever. The arboreal allegory has been used for years and will continue to be used as a visual depiction of man. There exists in us all—whether genetically linked or not—connections which forever bind us to our past for the decisions we make today contain origins of decisions made ages past. Had not my mother’s father’s father chosen to leave what many consider a desert paradise to homestead in a valley where a snowstorm on July fourth is not only possible, but probable, my life as I know it would not have existed.

I peer through the imaginary crust of dirt and follow a family root to a certain point and meet a man named George Richard Knight. Born in 1868, George was the oldest of nine children, the family calling Salt Lake City, Utah, home. George's parents, Oswell and Ellen Staples Knight, will forever retain the hallowed title of pioneers, an honor bestowed on those descendants who accomplished the Herculean task of (in many cases) literally walking across half a continent as a physical sacrifice of their faith. George met his wife, Ruth Alice Pool, in Logan, Utah, while working for the Utah Northern Railroad. Ruth's father, also an employee of the railroad, began taking boarders of which George was one. A romance ensued which lead to a courtship and eventually, marriage. Their life together began the family line that continues through me and extends to my children. The decisions of one affected not only their immediate family, but generations that follow. I wonder what repercussions our actions today will have for those who we'll not meet in this life. Time, as they say, will tell...

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