This weekend kicks off Thanksgiving break here in America! My wife and kids get the entire week off, which is a huge blessing. We are really looking forward to spending time together. That is what Thanksgiving is all about! Loving each other and being thankful to God for everything!
Aren’t those wild turkeys great?! They live here in our neighborhood and they roam wherever they please. They are usually down near the Cottonwood trees at the bottom of the little valley we live in, but sometimes they wander through everyone’s yards. We even had them in our backyard once. My Mom took that photo when she was out visiting one year. The mama was leading the babies across the street we live on. So cute! God’s creation is amazing!
Thanksgiving goes all the way back to the pilgrims, as so many of us American kids depicted in our elementary school plays. What they didn’t tell us was that those pilgrims most likely would have died if the Natives had not helped them. I am sure they were very thankful indeed to sit down at that first feast with the Natives who saved their lives.
As many of you know, I love history. In keeping with Thanksgiving and American history, here is a fun fact: I have Native American blood in my family line from my Mom’s side. My Mom’s ancestry is from Germany and my Dad’s side is from County Cork, Ireland (hence the name Callahan). My Mom researched our genealogy and found out that my Great (times 6) Grandfather (Johann) Jacob Steinkoenig (later changed to Stoneking), immigrated from Mutterstad, Germany to America in 1747 (29 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence). In 1748 he married a famous Native American Princess from the Seneca tribe named Summer Eve Aliquippa. Summer Eve’s mother was the famous Queen Aliquippa, a Chieftess of the Seneca people. Her father was the famous Oppaymolleh Straight Tail, a Seneca Spiritual Chief. Jacob and Summer Eve had two children and from that blood line I was born about 230 years later. Summer Eve was my Great (times 6) Grandmother, and that is just really cool to me!
Check this out! I even found a photo of Summer Eve Aliquippa online! The daughter of Queen Aliquippa! Truly incredible!
I encourage you to look up her mother Queen Aliquippa. She is quite famous in American history. George Washington even met with her and she was instrumental in the Colonial wars in America. She also founded the Seneca community known as “Aliquippa’s Town.”
It is a great honor to be a descendant of Queen Aliquippa, Oppaymolleh, and Summer Eve! If it were not for the Seneca people in America, I would not be here writing this today. May the Lord pour out blessing and reveal Himself to the Seneca people and all the Native tribes in America! I most likely have cousins among the Seneca that I have never met and I pray blessing and peace over you all in the Name of Jesus, our only God and Savior.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Jesus speaking in John 3:16
Here is a quote from the Seneca Nation of Indians website sni.org:
The Seneca Nation of Indians has a proud and rich history. We are the largest of six Native American nations comprising the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations, a democratic government that pre-dates the United States Constitution.
We are known as the “Keeper of the Western Door,” for the Seneca are the westernmost of the Six Nations. In the Seneca language we are also known as O-non-dowa-gah, (pronounced: Oh-n’own-dough-wahgah) or “Great Hill People.”
Today, the Seneca Nation of Indians has a population of over 8,000 enrolled members. We are the fifth-largest employer in Western New York, creating thousands of new jobs and investing hundreds of millions of dollars to bolster the region’s and New York State’s economy.
We invite you to explore our website to learn about our rich culture and traditions, our diverse and strong sovereign economy and the quality of life that makes us proud to be Seneca.
Rickey L. Armstrong Sr., President, Seneca Nation of Indians”
I love learning about my family’s history and I am very thankful to be a part of the rich history of the Seneca people. What an amazing life my Great (x6) Grandpa Jacob had! He ended up living through the American Revolutionary War time period and he died in 1785 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. I don’t know if he fought in the War, but he and Summer Eve lived in the East, so they would have been right in the thick of it. Summer Eve was born in Bedford, Pennsylvania in 1726 and she died on December 23rd, 1774 in the town of her birth. I don’t have any further information about Summer Eve and Jacob, but their children sparked a big family tree that is still going today through my children, my sister’s children, and all my cousins. Praise God!
I am so thankful for family and I love you all! Loving God and loving each other is what life is all about! May we always take care of each other and love like Jesus loves us!
What are you thankful for this year? As we approach Thanksgiving day, may we think about all God has done in our lives and praise Him with hearts full of thankfulness! God is so very good and faithful to us and He is worthy of our praise!
Grace and peace to you all and Happy Thanksgiving!
“Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.”