Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Here I raise my Ebenezer

In my Memorial Day post on May 26th, I mentioned that the name 1LT Edwin Steven Brague Jr. is engraved on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

From Ridgewood, New Jersey, Lieutenant Brague was 23 years old in 1967 when the helicopter he piloted crashed during hostilities in Quang Tin, South Vietnam. One of the commenters on that May 26th post was a Gerry Brague, whom I did not know. Gerry said that he was Steven Brague’s cousin and that Steve’s dad, Ed, had been his oldest uncle. Gerry also said he would love to find out if we are related in some way.

Elizabeth said she had a good feeling about this turn of events.

Gerry and I subsequently exchanged a couple of emails and some family information, and although there are a couple of gaps in the information on his side and also on mine, it appears that Gerry may be my third cousin, once removed. It is possible that our common ancestor is Ebenezer Brague, but we can’t tell because of the gaps. Ebenezer might be Gerry’s great-great-great-grandfather (three greats) and my great-great-grandfather (two greats). Ebenezer Brague was born in 1770, probably in Connecticut, married Elizabeth Brandon, and moved to Ulster, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, in 1812. Counting Ebenezer as generation 1, I am in generation 5 through Ebenezer’s and Elizabeth’s son William, and Gerry is in generation 6, possibly through one of Ebenezer’s and Elizabeth’s other two sons, Charles F. or Horace. Gerry’s dad, who is in generation 5, may be my third cousin, which would make Gerry and me third cousins, once removed.

A lot of this is speculation and guessing, since there are -- all together now -- gaps. But it has been fun. Perhaps we’ll never know for sure.

In the meantime, listen to the magnificent Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra performing “Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” (6:12) , which includes the line “Here I raise my Ebenezer.”

I do not share the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra’s theology, but their music is top-notch.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to find out what an Ebenezer is and why someone would raise one. As always, should you or any of your team be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This post will not self-destruct in five seconds.

As a result, you can listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra perform “Come, Thou Fount Of Every Blessing” over and over.

But only if you want to.

6 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Learning things every day. I had never, ever heard the term 'raise my Ebenezer', and a quick google told me why.
Thank you.
And I am awed at how small your and your long lost third cousin are finding the world.
Mind you, I have never understood 'third cousin, once removed' references. We grew up with immediate family - and not a lot of that.

Hilltophomesteader said...

Howdy RWP from dark & cloudy SW Washington. I'm with Elephant's Child.....never heard that before, googled it to educate myself. No doubt I will have forgotten it again in a few minutes (where did I leave my coffee cup?) My kids & I once subscribed to Ancestry.com for the month of December. We couldn't tear ourselves from the computer the entire month. Lost a full month of our lives in that fascinating realm.....

rhymeswithplague said...

Elephant's Child, if you had an immediate family, then you know that the children of siblings are first cousins. Well, the grandchildren of siblings are second cousins, and the great-grandchildren of siblings are third cousins. This goes on ad infinitum through as many generations as you would like to think about. The misnomers occur when talking about the relationships between different generations. For example, my cousin's child is not my second cousin, my cousin's child is my first cousin, once removed (that is, one generation down the line). Simple, n'est-ce pas? Apparently not.

Person who lives in a homestead on a hilltop, it's not like raising an Ebenezer is on anybody's bucket list. Perhaps if it were, the world would be a better place.

Elephant's Child said...

You may get two of these comments as blogger had a hissy fit and told me the first failed.
Thank you. I now know more than I did. But need to settle down with pencil and paper (and sharpen my brain cells) if I am to retain it.

Allen Brague said...

Mr. RWP allow me to introduce myself as yet another third cousin removed from several places. Gerry is my brother, along with yet another brother, Dave and a sister Linda. I have been looking at the family tree along with all the twisted roots and a few well pruned branches. and once I have a chance i will combine what you have with what I have and let you know. best wishes from southeast PA.

rhymeswithplague said...

Allen Brague, welcome to the rhymeswithplague blog! I'm looking forward to hearing more from you on the subject of the family Brague.