Here is what I know about Adam Ingram: He was born in 1832 in Glasgow, Scotland. He arrived in the U.S. on June 21, 1851. He arrived in Cass County, Nebraska in 1856. On May 10, 1864 he was given a land patent to a plot near Louisville, NE. The grant was signed by Abraham Lincoln (see below).
Louisville is a town of 1,100 people that sits on the banks of the Platte River - about 25 miles southwest of Omaha. As you can see from the picture above, the only contribution to the skyline is the Ash Grove Cement plant.
Just outside of town is a cemetery that includes not only Adam Ingram, but also two other sets of great-great-great grandparents, two sets of great-great grandparents, my great-grandparents, and two of my grandfather's sisters - both of whom I knew and had a strong attachment to as a child.
I'm guessing you're probably "graved out" by now. Maybe it is a little morbid. But, I like to think about my ancestors. I like to think that every choice they made is somewhere inside of me. What they decided to do for a living, where they decided to live, who they decided to love - it's all there somewhere coursing through my veins. Their lives were so much harder than mine. They had to fight so hard just to survive. I would be foolish not to pay them the respect they deserve - and to thank them for living the way that they did - because if they had made other choices - I wouldn't be here to thank them.
The experience of walking among the graves of so many of my direct ancestors reminded me of a scene from Dead Poets Society.
Robin Williams' character has one of the boys read the poem "To the Virgins, to make much of time" by Robert Herrick - a 17th century English poet.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
old time is still a-flying
and this same flower that smiles today
tomorrow will be dying.
He then has the students gather in front of old photos of former students - and points out how similar they are to them. "Same haircuts. Full of hormones - just like you. Invincible - just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they are destined for great things - just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope - just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because you see gentlemen - these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. If you listen real close you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on - lean in. Listen. Hear it? (ghostly whisper) Carpe - Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."
I plan on it.