• Not A History Buff

Posted by: kidhelper on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008


History never was my favorite subject. I kind of tolerated historical study in school, not that I failed the subject, but just had a no reason to relate to it. As the years have gone by, I remember the first time I really connected to the study of history. It was while attending Moody Bible Institute, I had to take a required course on the History of Theology.

My teacher was Howard Whaley, a brand new teacher, his first year on the faculty at Moody. I remember that he lived in Wheaton and commuted to school each day. He was so excited about history. Every day, the first part of his lecture, he would share some great historical “tidbit” that he just found the night before. Such enthusiasm and excitement was just contagious every class. We all looked forward to Whaley’s Historical Theatre. Also, as a pastoral student, I wanted to learn about theology. I loved it. That’s when history first became relevant for me. It was the enthusiasm of the teacher that helped.

From this new interest in the history of theology, I found it easier, years later, to write a “thesis-type” research paper at Fuller Seminary that I called the History and Theology of Children’s Evangelism. It turned out to be a 60 page document complete with footnotes. It was not required, I just wanted to do it. Dr. Whaley’s enthusiasm was in my head.

All this interest in History was quite narrow in scope, but that all changed when…

I was speaking in Phoenix, Arizona and the church I was speaking for advertised my coming with an notice in the local papers. A man named Charlie Kinard called the church to speak to me. He told me that we must be related, but when I quizzed him on his relatives and offered mine in exchange, we made no connection. He went on to inform me of some family research on the Kinards, that I had not seen. So he sent it to me. That was in 1980 and that began a serious inquiry into my family tree. It turned out that our line was omitted from the research and that now I believe we are related, only one generation removed, farther back. Now 28 years later, I have made some interesting discoveries.

One is that on my father’s side of the family there were a missing grandfather, so the family history did not get passed down. I discovered that the Kinard family are German and migrated here from the Rhineland region of Germany, through Rotterdam, then to England. The British gave these immigrants Land Grants in the British Colonies, land that was taken from the Indians. So many German families migrated to an area in Newberry Co., South Carolina to homestead land, over 250 years ago. They settled in a fertile valley between the Broad and Saluda Rivers. It soon became known as the Dutch Fork (not Holland Dutch, but German Deutsch). The Indians were upset with the British for taking their land and would try to fight the British in Charleston, but to get there, they had to pass by the Germans, who fought successfully the Indian attacks. They protected their homes and defended the British.

Every year the Germans would go to Charleston to pay their British fee (like a 10% tax) for their Land Grant to work. Every year they would have to clear and plant 3% more land for more profit to the British. The British could not pronounce the German names or spell them correctly, so many German names changed to more phonetic spellings in the 1750-1790’s. I have one British document referring to the same Kinard person with four variant spellings of their name. When the Revolution broke out, these same Germans switched loyalty. They now fought against the British. Apparently, some love was lost. My relatives fought in the Revolutionary War. Some of my relatives survived the Rev. War. and were considered local heroes. So I began reading books on the Revolutionary War. Some of my relatives were named George Washington Kinard, in memory of their hero of the struggle for Independence.

When the Civil War broke out my relatives again fought. They were major slave owners with large cotton and tobacco plantations. They opposed the North and many German lads joined the ranks of the famed General “Stone Wall” Jackson. I began reading books about the Civil War. I read about Gen Jackson, and Gettysburg and decided to go there to learn more. As the story goes, “Stone Wall” was ambushed at night and was killed before the Battle of Gettysburg. However, my Kinard relatives went on to fight at Gettysburg. I learned that out of the eleven, I know that fought there, only a couple survived the massacre. My relatives named their children “Jackson” after their national war hero “Stone Wall.”

My research has helped me to understand that my German family is really an American family. My relatives have fought in every war that this nation has engaged. Every generation of my family has sacrificed their sons for the freedom and independence of American way of life, even my father (20 years in the Navy).

I am grateful to be an American. I am reading and will continue to be interested in American History, now that I have a reason.

You see, my given name is Barnette Jackson Kinard, I was named after my grandfather (with the same name). We were both called Barney. His father (or my great grandfather) was John Jackson Kinard. My most recent grandson is Spencer Jackson Kinard.

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