My Grandfather, Frederick E. Dean became very interested in researching our history in the 1920's. He had 4 young children of his own at the time and was a Baptist Minister. His search continued until the early 1970's when he could no longer physically travel to gather information. This interest was sparked by his Uncle Seth Dean, who had started researching his genealogy years before. Great Uncle Seth died in 1927 and left his material for my Grandfather to continue. My Great Uncle Seth was very proud of his heritage and instilled a deep appreciation for this in my Grandfather. Just when my Great Uncle Seth began his search, I do not know, but it lives on in me.
My interest in genealogy began about 2 years ago, 12 years after my Grandfather died at the age of 95. He would be so proud to know someone is following in his footsteps. I only wish that I would have realized my interest while he was alive as I could have picked his mind. But I was busy with my own young family and the present to even think about the past. What I have now instead are notebooks, files, letters and pictures that he left behind. Volumes of information that he wanted to share. Some of the letters I have were from branches not directly related to us, but branches just the same. Everyone was willing to help him and share what they had with him. And he felt they were all family and treated them as such.
My Grandfather was willing to share what he found with anyone willing or wanting to know. He never would have held back or charged for his work as he felt it was for all in the families to know. Would I share all of his and my Great Uncle Seth's work? No. Some of the letters, notes and stories are not something I feel need to be shared unless they pertain to someone directly. But, I would however share names, dates and places. We all have to start somewhere, and it is through helping one another and sharing that we do this.
I will never publish my Grandfather and Uncle Seth's work as I don't feel they would want me to profit from what is everyone's right to know; Their heritage.
Below are exerts from my Grandfather, Dr. Rev. Frederick E. Dean's, work. They were written in 1951 to his children and extended families.
"My interest for study of family history looks back and forward. Back to those from whom we spring, and whose characteristics we inevitably share – and forward to our children, to whom, in spite of ourselves, we are passing on this heritage we have received. We can revise and update our heritage as it filters through us to our children, but it will inevitably carry something, from our past, as well as our present.
I am convinced that it behooves us to consider the roots from which we spring, the better to understand the spreading branches which we bear. In other words – Family History.
When young, we are too busy and eager with life to care whence we came, or how. When we begin to wonder, our best sources of information may have gone, and we even have difficulty remembering dates and places in our current family story.
There will never be time to do this all at once, so I'm gathering up some of the bits and scraps collected through the years with your help, and with the help of others now gone, in the hope that you will continue to provide information, and that someone will volunteer to "take over", now or later, and develop the material. My zipper note book and open files are fat with sketches, letters, clippings, pictures, etc., but they hold no extra time. Neither does my "retirement", and I am not ready for a retirement that does. I hope to be around for a few years yet, but no one knows. Suppose we get our heads together and find a way to gather, conserve and extend family information for our children. They may not care much about it now, but some of them will be very grateful some day."
I miss my Grandparents and the knowledge they took with them. With each day that goes by that I find new information or read about our history in this site, that we are so lucky to have, I think of them and remember my Grandfathers wish that someday someone will "take over" and continue his quest.
We are all "family" here on the Sinclair list and therefore should all be willing to share what we have and help those around us. We descend from many branches of the same tree and as far as I am concerned, that makes you all "MY FAMILY".
Thank you for your time and Thank you for this site,
Barbara Kyler (A Proud Sinclair)
PS: To John and the rest of the family: Thank you for your kind note, Chris, regarding our web page. In the interest of keeping with my own beliefs expressed in the letter above, here is the family history that I have compiled through various sources including those here on the list. A special Thanks to Gary M. Sinclair who provided me with his family branch. I have made every attempt to leave names and dates of living relatives out of this data base. If anyone can add to or has mistakes to point out, I will correct them as soon as possible. Here is the web page address as well as my own personal e-mail address. I look forward to hearing from the rest of our family on this site and that it can be an on going and comprehensive starting point for family members researching their own family branch.
Thank you again,