Andy's ancestors came from Ireland. And before that they came from Scotland. Slaves..captured in the dim mists of time from their Scottish home...enslaved by their Irish captors...servants, bound in service for life to masters who ruled them with an iron hand. And then as the famine in Ireland grew and life was hard for everyone, the news came that there was a chance for freedom...in the United States of America. Freedom. How sweet the sound.
Several great-grandfathers ago a ten-year old boy by the name of Elder signed to become a bound boy...an indentured servant who would work out the cost of his passage to America by working for a family...a different kind of servitude..with an iffy promise, but better than the life that he could see ahead. He made the long journey across the Atlantic. He worked and managed to save some money. With his savings he bought his freedom...and made plans to pay the passage for another brother. When he arrived the two brothers worked to bring over another brother. And so it continued until ten Elder men came from Ireland to start a new life in America. Sweet, sweet freedom. Hard work. But, still, it was what they felt they owed their family. A chance. A chance for a new life...
The young man at the bottom center of the photo is Andy's grandfather, Andrew John Elder. He was the father of John Andrew Elder who was the father of Andy.
The patriarch of the family in the picture is also named Andrew John Elder, the father of all the children in the picture.
A heritage to be proud of. Hope makes everything possible. Even from the fog-shrouded coasts of Scotland...to the gleaming green hills of Ireland, the call for a free life and a new way of living echoes. Freedom...for every bound boy...and man and woman who cherishes life and lives in hope of a better day.