Monday, January 2, 2017

Grandpa's Last Will and Testament

My Great Grandfather, Samuel Rutherford Davis
My Great-Grandfather Samuel died a long time before I was born. I never met him - I have no memories of him.

I grew up visiting my Grandparents in the house that my Great-Grandfather had helped build, but it has long since been sold.

Most of the physical, tangible memories of "Grandpa" are long since gone. I have some photographs, a candlestick holder (really it was his wife's), a few things like that. Not much.

But, I have two lasting possessions that Great-Grandpa left.

I have the stories of his virtuous life, as told to me by my Mother.

  • He served on his Church Session (like a Vestry, Board of Directors, or Parish Council) for 50 years without a break. 
  •  He taught Church School faithfully for many years. 
  •  He would bring groceries to his daughter (my Grandmother) on the Lord's Day. Gasoline was rationed and it was too long a drive to take twice in a week, but wouldn't accept payment for those groceries on that day - since it wouldn't be right to defile the Lord's Day with business. He was a Grocer by trade.
  •  He got up every Monday Morning and did all the household laundry - by hand! - for my Great-Grandmother before he started his work for the day. Talk about Servant-Leadership! 
  •  As a Grocer he helped so many customers by letting them give an IOU for groceries during the Great Depression. He knew they could never pay for the loans, but didn't want to humiliate them with a "handout."

  •  He read the Bible through from cover to cover every year of his adult life, and said that every time he picked it up, he saw something new.
  • And, perhaps most importantly, he was loved and admired by all of those closest to him.

These are the stories of Grandpa Samuel. This week is his Birthday. He was born on January 7, 1874.

But, the most important thing I have of Grandpa is the words from his Last Will and Testament. Not the paper anymore - just the words that have been copied and handed down:

"I desire to bequeath to my children and their families my testimony to the truth and preciousness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This heritage of Christian faith, received in an unbroken line from [Christian*] ancestors, is of infinitely more value than any earthly possessions that I hereby bequeath or devise to them. As life's sun sinks toward its setting, I want to say to my dear children and grandchildren in this private document: Hold fast to the faith and fellowship and service of Jesus Christ and His Church. They will make life worth living under any conditions." (Author not known, but expresses my thoughts and desires.) (Signed) Samuel R. Davis

 * Scotch Covenanter. Although I am a Greek Orthodox Christian, I still hold my family's Scotch Covenanter Christian heritage in the highest regard.

As my Grandmother noted when she copied these words years later, ". . . he being dead yet speaketh." Hebrews 11:4

For years after I got Grandpa's Will - I thought it was unique.  Then, one day, I happened on this catalogue of Quotes of American Founders. Many of them professed their Faith in their Last Will & Testament. Apparently this was quite a common practice among Believers at one time

If you are a Christian preparing to write a Will or to do Estate Planning - think this over when you decide what legacy you want to leave for your descendants for them to treasure & remember you by. 

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Traffic Jam Weekend


  1. What a lovely heritage of faith! That is a truly remarkable legacy. :)

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by to visit - and helping me find your blog! : )

  2. What a beautiful way to again leave to our posterity that which matters most! What a wonderful life he lived as well to have such stories passed down. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by! I love your blog post on growing different types of crystals with kids : )

  3. I do wish I had some stories. My dad recently gave me photos of my great, great great, and great great great grandparents on his mama's side. A treasure to be sure, but oh for some stories!

    Happy New Year!

    Please drop by and say hello!
    Harvest Lane Cottage
    ...doing what I can with what I've got where I am
    on a short shoestring budget!

    1. Family stories are such a treasure - and so easy to loose! Glad you enjoyed mine : ) Thanks for visiting!

  4. Huh! I had never heard of that.

    1. Thanks for hosting & for dropping by! It's great to have something new to mull over, huh? : )

  5. Oh my! I am fighting back tears. What an awesome legacy you have. I have thought about how I would leave similar words in the event I am blessed to have my children around when I die. I love this so much better. Leave it in the will. I commit to doing the same. You are one blessed lady from a wonderful family.

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by & sharing : ) I'm so delighted that you plan to do this yourself - it is SUCH a Blessing to the next generations! I AM Blessed to be from such a wonderful family - very Blessed that my Grandparents- may Their Memory be Eternal - Adopted my Mother : )

  6. I'm so inspired by your great grandfather's example. And I have to have a new will made soon. I'll definitely follow your great-grandfather's example and include my faith. Thanks for sharing at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.

  7. What an awesome heritage! Thank you for linking up with the LMM linkup.

  8. Thank you for sharing this with us at Merry Monday. I enjoyed reading the memories of such a Godly man. He was ahead of his time getting up on Monday and doing the laundry for his wife. His last will and testament are wise words for all of us.


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