american revolution, battle of boyne, clan ewen, doctor thomas ewing, findley ewing, heritage, lee county, life's greatest battle, scotland, virginia, w. frances ewing, william of orange
TBT :: People MatterThursday, April 9, 2015
I was reading in my devotion time this morning about genealogies. It was fitting, actually, as I've been geeking out for a few months tracing back my own family lines. It has truly been an adventure for a time traveler like me. Did you ever know why God made a point to include long and boring lists of genealogies throughout the bible? Abraham begot Isaac who begot Jacob who begot Joseph, and so on? I don't think it is just to numb your brain to sleep when you've been over caffienated. I think it's because people matter to God. All of them. He called them by name...mentioned their years lived...recorded them...
Isn't that wonderful?
So, I think each Thursday from here on out (I hope), I will pick a random person that I have uncovered from my own line. It might turn out to be painfully boring for you readers, but it's worth the risk. Might as well breathe life into some of these forgotten souls, right?
So, today, April 9, 2015, I introduce to you one Findley Ewing of Scotland who married Miss Jane Porter in 1685. Findley was part of the Clan Ewen of Scotland, which is pretty cool because I am thrilled to have Scottish heritage.
In 1690, Findley fought for William of Orange in the Battle of the Boyne where he was recognized for a specific act of bravery. Because of his act of valor, King William of Orange presented him with a silver-handled sword. This sword remained with the family who later immigrated to New Jersey where Doctor Thomas Ewing (Findley's great grandson) wore it upon his belt during the American Revolution. Soon after, it was stolen by a slave and melted for its metal.
Why does this matter to me? Well, a few short months ago I didn't even know that Findley Ewing existed, but now I do. And not only do I know he was real, but I've learned so much about other Ewings from his line; men of valor and standard bearers for queens; men who passed on so much to their children and to their children...and eventually to my Grandpa and me.
My Grandpa, one Bernard Gale Ewing born in Lee County, Virginia never fought a battle or was awarded a silver-handled sword for valor. But for heaven's sakes, he might just be the best Ewing to yet live! Like me, a few months ago he didn't even know his heritage or know anything about brave Ewings that were powerful, courageous, loyal and true. Scottish? None of us saw that coming! But there is no mistaking what has been handed down from generation to generation. My grandpa has been a good man, a standard bearer for the men around him, and someone who is forgiving and deeply kind. Those things, in their own right, require valor. Love is courageous. Forgiveness is courageous. Kindness is courageous. How do I know he lives up to the hype of Clan Ewen? Because one of Findley Ewing's grandchildren wrote the following poem and it sounds as if he personally new my grandpa...
Life's Greatest Battle
I've fought a thousand different wars
Within my frail and troubled soul
But leaned the toughest of them all
Was that great fight for self control
To face a knave with cutting tongue
Then smile and still be just plain you
You'll find takes more than faulty man
To win such battles all day through
Thus I have learned, if each new day
Life's greatest war you hope to win
Just smile, forgive, forget and love
And try your best to follow Him.
~W. Frances Ewing