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"The Big Picture"
Leo Lawton

I often think of our family tree back to its earliest beginnings, as "The Big Picture," and I am constantly tryingto paint scenes back into the far reaches of the dim past. When I scrutinize these links, I think, this is why Iam what I am. My cousins are the same in many respects because they share this same background, while at the sametime they differ from me, because they also have a different set of genes than I.

I can also place myself at the opposite end of the spectrum, and think, that if I were that first original personthat can be found to start it all, then what shall become of my progeny. The oldest known Lawton that I am nowaware of, that can be traced to some of the present Lawtons is one Adam Lauton born before 1199. If I were for the moment to stand in Cheshire, England in the year 1200, and look 800 years into the future, what would I find? Would it be several family members clustered around my birthplace still, or would my family likely die out in one of the plagues that happen sporadically?

Can I in my wildest imagination dream of thousands of descendants scattered over far and distant lands? People would think me quite daft indeed if I mentioned that I thought my children's children's future generations might go to far lands hitherto unknown. Everybody knows full well that if a sailing vessel were to go west in the ocean it would fall off of the earth. How could my kith and kin possibly settle in some land called America that cannot possibly exist? Australia, that would mean Southern Land wouldn't it? Who thinketh that there can be land south of what is now known? It maketh my head hurt to think of twenty-five generations in the future. Unlikely!

We now return to my Big Picture to note that all within are my ancestors. This is a fine and grand pastime to search them all out, but what happened to all of the rest of Adam Lauton's descendants that are not my ancestors. They are all of as equal concern to Adam, as my ancestors are to me. We now begin to see the Bigger Picture. I am... therefore there are a thousand like me, that can all trace back to the same person. Each of us has our own ancestral tree which is different from all the rest, yet we are all related, no matter what country we live in, or what part of that country. Some parts of all of our ancestral trees, make up Adam's descendants tree, and we are all merely different limbs.

Since Adam stood so long ago quietly contemplating, much has happened. From the world as known at that time, many new and wonderful countries have been discovered by the Europeans as they have come to be known. As the years, and finally centuries passed, many of his descendants went off to new and exciting lands. Today, they are scattered throughout the known world.

I started my quest into Lawton ancestry to find where I came from. It has lead me to now wonder how all Lawtonsattach to each other. Lawtons from all over the world write and ask me if I know how they fit in with my large database of Lawtons. What a grand and glorious undertaking this has become. As I correspond with these Lawtons from far away places I am trying to discover Who they are, How they got there, as well as their relationship to all the rest of us.


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