It has not been the ambition of the
writer to produce a work that will attract the attention of the reading
public generally. In fact, the original purpose was simply to perpetuate
as far as possible the annals of our own family and rescue their
traditions from the inevitable corruption of time and tattle, and to erect
a true genealogical basis upon which future generations may safely build.
In pursuit of this purpose
cotemporaneous events are thrust obtrusively in our line of research and
cannot be ignored, especially when they largely influence and are often
responsible for conditions that would not otherwise exist. Thus it comes
that much local history that will prove interesting is merged into our
There are many families in Western
Pennsylvania and many who have gone out from there to people other lands
whose early history runs parallel with our own, and though the special
incidents in their story may not be the same as ours, yet they will
recognize in these pages the advantages and disadvantages to which their
people were subjected in the early days, and to them the narrative will
seem like the meeting of old friends who have been long separated.
Some will think, perhaps, that we
have mentioned matters that might as well have been left untold. We would
remind such that truth untold is worthless.
Conditions of the times cannot be
fairly represented by suppressing actual facts as they then and there
We have dealt gently with the past
without a thought of prejudice or ill-will toward any one now living;
seeking only to show the vicissitudes through which our fathers passed in
building up the splendid civilization we now enjoy. No such conditions
exist now as then. Racial contests have disappeared and in their place we
have a homogeneous people whose aspirations blend and harmonize in pursuit
of the good and true.
As far as we have drawn upon ancient
history and the story of prehistoric ages we have no apologies to make.
For centuries the history of our race has been written by our enemies: or
those whose interest it was to belittle the achievements of our people. We
have merely glanced at this feature of the case, content that research and
science are every day vindicating the acts and deeds of the ancient
Celts—the greatest race of men that ever existed on the face of the earth.
If in the succeeding pages we have
written anything that will promote an honorable pride of Ancestry as an
incentive to goodness and greatness our purposes will be subserved and our
The Shacks, October 10th, 1908.