Heritage and Family Tradition
I treasure my family ~
And the families blood that runs through my veins ~ That very thought came to my mind in1990 while laying in a Hospital bed. I'd been diagnosed with cancer. Knowing I lost both parents from this, I thought I might die, although the prognosis was good for me...but still, I was scared.
While still in the Hospital I was looking at my skin with pronounced veins in my arms, when this very thought came to mind. This blood that runs through my veins is not only my father and mother's...but their parents as well, all the way back to the beginning of time. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to know...Who were they, and what have my ancestors done to contribute, making this world a better place. I wondered, did they help others, and did they have a strong religious Faith?
My mother told me stories about herself, dad and other family members of the past. To me the stories seemed so incredible, I had a hard time believing them. I just had to know and my search began.
This is when I asked myself....what have I done to make this world a better place?
Note ~ Scraper Protection: This is a personal story and all rights are reserved...
Starting with the Meyer's and von Meyer's
Already having made a webpage about my father's von Meyer side of the genealogy chart, I knew that my Meyer family had done good for others. For the last several years I learned new information about my extended family and the things they have done, even from reader contacts and the internet.
While searching through my old suite case, I found a very old newspaper article about my G.G. grandfather Johann Meyer. Because this article was written in old German text, I could barely read it...so I had it translated. Even though I learned he was a philanthropist, I just didn't know to what extent...and that was a surprise.
It all began in St.Petersbutg Russia were Johann had been educated and gained his wealth. When the Russian Revolution began, he moved back to Germany. That's when he began his philanthropy, included building housing for poor workers so they could live in a clean environment, as well donating to schools, churches and many other needed institutions and establishments.
Meyer also was an avid art collector, helping new artist's from Paris and the Dresden Fontainebleau School to get established. This by buying and displaying their artworks at his Villa free for the public to view ...there, being able to see the works of Bonnat - Bonheur - Brenton - Conti - Corot -Daubigny - Decamps - Delacroix - Delaroche - Diaz De La Pena - Dupre -Gerome - Isabey - Rousseau - Roybet, and many more...
A good friend of the Meyer family in Russia was Julius Ludwig Rothermundt....his son Adolf Rothermundt moved to Dresden and admired the tradition of Meyer buying art and displaying it for the public in his Villa...following in the same tradition, Adolf collected and displayed artworks in his own Villa.
There's a street named after Johann-Meyer that still exists, matter of fact they just built a Park in his name...and I believe a trust from him also exists to this day.
The street and some buildings still existClick thumbnail to view full-size
Interestingly enough, straight across the chart, both my Meyer and Ives family did basically the same thing, just in different parts of the world.
Guides to Philanthropy
To me, Giving Smart is giving without expecting something in return. When given from the heart it makes you feel good.
My Ives family side...
This is what I found...
I didn't have much to go on many years ago, but I do remember as a child that I felt my paternal grandmother Georgie Ives was selfish...after all I was just a child, and certainly a childish way of thinking...of course I wanted to prove this wrong! I felt bad that "I judged the book by the cover." I found out that my gr gr grandfather (her grandfather) Lawson C. Ives was from the clock-maker family in Hartford CT. He was a generous man, also a philanthropist sharing his wealth with the needy, building a Civil War Widows Home. Even after his death, leaving most of his wealth to the needy.
The buildings that were built for the Civil War Widows...called Immanuel House, served a great purpose at the time. Interestingly enough all the buildings still stand today. Lawson Ives also supported a church, leaving a "trust" that also still exists.
I was happy and proud to learn that my Ives ancestors also had been generous with their wealth. Yes, it pleased me to know they had done good deeds for those in need. However, all that stopped when the Ives daughters moved to Europe to find their own wealth by marriage. And back in the US others fought over the will...greed is a terrible thing!
A gift for the Civil War Widows and their families
I'm proud that my ggGrandfather thought enough of the poor and the hurting by building this place to live. In his will he left a great deal more for the poor and a Church .
Because of my Family History webpages, I have treasures of information from worldwide readers contacting me...but, I'm still far from knowing many things in my brick wall.
How well do you know your ancestors?
Have any of your ancestors contributed to help others?
With an impressive review!
An impressive editorial review on this book:
“An invaluable resource that distills the essence of strategic philanthropy for those seeking to achieve a greater social impact.”--Bill Gates, cochair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
"Give while you live ~ you'll know where it goes"
I've realize even more, the fact that I've been given a second chance in life and that God also gave me a gift with my artistic ability...inspired me to keep a tradition of giving...I had to make it count for it's a way for me to glorify God.
Although I don't have the wealth my ancestors had, I do the best I can and give from the heart...as without that, it's not a gift
Best of all, I'm proud this tradition of Giving has also been passed down to our daughters, they are very generous with those in need as well to friends and family.
What you are is God's gift to you ~ what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb
I'm happy to have been able to find answers, and sharing the results of my search. The tradition of giving and doing good for others should be in all our lives.
Best of all, knowing my ancestors had great Faith, is the icing on the cake.
My Blessings have been many ~ and I hope that in my little way, I can make a difference.
© 2014 Delia