Thoughts on having a Puritan as an ancestor

A young adult in my family who died young:


In memory of
ELIJAH son of
Samuel W &
Lucy Peet
who was drowned in
Lake Ontario
Dec 2, 1802
in the 26 year
of his age.
He is gone he is gone alas
As above it does appear
And in remembrance of his dust
I have set his grave-stone here

My Sister, Nancy Gilbert, has done detailed, time-consuming, and painstaking research on our first ancestor to the new world. His name was John Peat. He came to American on the Hopewell in 1635. Ultimately he settled in Stratford, CT. There he had a 2 acre lot on “Salt Pond”. Nancy previously was unsure if he was a bonafide Puritan or just one who came with the Puritans. Her research in Stratford this week discovered that he was a husbandman (a farmer) who was a member of the first church in Stratford. He was an officer of sorts in that Puritan church. His job was the bell ringer, a job he held until the age of 62. John Peat was the first generation “Peat / Peet” in the new world. I am the 15th generation.

I did not think that the “grave search” would be that interesting, but it was. Part of it was watching my Sister work. She brought research material with her and with dogged determination and skill followed the available clues to find Peet graves. We had some “rabbit trails”: searching two cemeteries in vain – one in Milford (when we should have been in “New Milford”); trying to find a cemetery between Bridgewater CT and New Milford CT instead of 5 miles N of New Milford; stopping in at a Episcopal church and chatting with octogenarians in knitting group – looking for help finding a graveyard; going to the Judson House (museum) on Saturday only to find it closed (we went back on Sunday to find it open!).

OK, so we found something out about John Peat. He was a Puritan. I ask “so what”?! Here’s the answer:

John 1:12,13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

I’m not a Christian because I have a great, great … great Grandfather who was a Puritan. I’m not a Christian by “blood, … the will of the flesh, [or] … the will of man”. I’m a Christian by the grace and the will of God. No one is a Christian because of a parent’s Christianity. One is born again via the only method prescribed by God – “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”.

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