Sunday, October 30, 2011

Who Do You Love?

The other day in the car "Who Do You Love" by George Thorogood and the Destroyers was playing on the radio. After the song ended an interesting idea popped into my head.

Is there one special ancestor that captures my attention? Someone I go the extra mile when researching? Who do I love?

The answer was pretty clear just by the sheer number of posts about this person in my blog.

Christian Wismer Ruth, my husband's grandfather, hooked me the moment I saw his photograph. His engaging expression captured my imagination.

It will sound strange, but I felt an instant connection from the start. The feeling grew even stronger while researching the life and times of C.W. Ruth.

C.W. was born September 1, 1865 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The oldest of four children, Christian describes his family as being one of "godly heritage".

Over the years Christian wrote many books about his life and later career in the ministry. In this dedication he reveals the important role his mother played shaping the man who would become a church leader.

 "Bible Readings on the Second Blessing" published 1905

To my own
Who first taught me to lisp
The name of Jesus,
And to read and revere
The Bible;
Who by her consistent life, godly
Counsels, and unceasing prayers
Early directed my feet
Into the "old paths" of Righteousness.
This volume is
Gratefully and affectionately

Several indications of his personality were found in the article "The Preaching of Christian W. Ruth" by James McGraw, published April 1956.

His Great Enthusiasm

C.W. Ruth carried with him a spirit of joyful optimism and unbounded enthusiasm. Small of statue but straight and sturdy-looking in his long, square-cut coat, Brother Ruth seldom preached with an attitude other than vigorous and inspiring encouragement toward who heard him.

C.W. Ruth will be remembered for his happy and joyous optimism and his radiant spirit. He will be remembered for his wit and humor, and for his clear, captivating presention of holiness. He will be remembered for the thousands who were won to Christ and to holiness through his preaching.

At every turn my interest and fascination with Christian has grown. Each new article or document reinforces the place this unknown ancestor has claimed in my heart. In many ways I feel I know him better than most of our living relatives.

I would like nothing better than to spend an afternoon with this interesting gentleman. Do you have someone in the family tree who you have connected with in a special way? Who do you love?


  1. My "love" is Man's grandfather, in some ways the opposite of your love. He abandoned a wife and 14 year old daughter, married again and in less than 2 years married again. Have no idea what happened to wife # 2, in fact, did not know there was a wife # 2 for years. He changed his name and has a FBI file. What's not to love??

  2. What an amazing person Christian Wismer Ruth was. I just did a post on my grandfather, and I am intrigued by his photo. What a blessing to have writings from your husband's ancestor. I wish I had the same of my ancestor that I am in love with.

  3. Christian Ruth sounds like a loveable guy. No wonder he is your genealogy love. Mine is my maternal great grandmother. She fascinates me and I am so sad that I never met her in life.

  4. What an inspiring heritage! And such a wonderful find from the Wesleyans' archive!

    I can't say that I've ever given your question any thought, but now that you mention it...I think I am in love with every ancestor I've written about. Each one has his or her endearing points. I only wish I could find more archived material to help me get to know them better.

    Your mention of the Wesleyans inspires me to go looking for my ancestor's circuit-rider journal...

  5. I love the dedication to his book, giving so much appreciation publicly to his mother for her hard work in raising the family and exemplifying Christ... especially in a time when I'd tend to think women were still viewed as second-class citizens.