My Dear Nephew and Family:
I am sending you this record of the LANDISS family and some of its collateral branches in order that the record, incomplete as it is, might be preserved for future use and reference. A similar book goes to your cousins Lena Seelye Lugg and to Grace Farrelly. Another has been sent to Mrs. J. Evan Jones at Temple, Ind. for use of the Indiana branch of the family. I would like to have one for each member of the family but the cost would be too great to publish and to write it out on the typewriter is a laborious undertaking.
It has taken me two years of almost constant effort to gather the material for these pages. Had I the money for travel and research I am sure the record would have been more complete. Further details as to the collateral lines could have been obtained but I did not feel justified in adding to the expense and labor. There are some blank sheets for additions as you may see fit to make.
The carrying on of the Landiss name will be largely in the hands of your boys. I have but one son and one grandson. I trust your sons will continue to be as fine and manly as I found them this past summer. I am proud of them, and proud of the family name.
The Landiss Family
With some general historical notes and a partial genealogy of several branches of the family, but more particularly of the Landiss families of North Carolina.
|"No matter what my birth may be,
No matter where my lot is cast,
I am the heir in equity
To all the precious past."
Rev. William Landiss
|". . . . . . We, who are the seed
Of buried creatures, If we turned and spat
Upon our antecedents, we were vile.
Bring violets rather. If these had not walked
Their furlong, could we hope to walk our mile?"
Very early in life I purposed to learn something of my ancestry and the family history. What planted this purpose within me I do not know. It may have been the stories told about the family fireside that awakened a sense of family pride; or it may have been the lurking, hidden feeling that lies in thinking it more honorable to have a remote ancestor who did something worth while than to do anything worthy oneself.
This purpose, expressed with boyish enthusiasm to my mother, brought the warning that I might find some of my ancestors died hanging from a tree. Without doubt this admonition cooled my ardor, for it was many years before I attempted to gather any family data. By that time my father and others, who could have given much first hand information, were dead, and myself, busy with the affairs of life, could spare little time to make research. Such efforts as I did make proved practically futile, and again my purpose languished.
Other years rolled into the past. Then one day a letter came from Sarah Landis Rinehart (Mrs. C. W.) of Ft. Pierce, Florida. She had seen my name in a paper, was trying to trace her own family line, and wrote asking for information as to my ancestry. That letter rekindled my purpose to know something of my family history, and led me to again undertake a task that I had already found to be well nigh impossible.
And there are many others to whom I am indebted, a list too long to mention here, who have either generously supplied information or made suggestions as to where certain information might be found.
My part in the work has been a labor of pleasure and of pride. I have met with many difficulties, and the work is after all but a sketchy framework upon which I trust others may build. But I have found a wondrous kinship, a family tie that neither time nor distance has dissolved and the friendly contacts made in the wide correspondence has been like the warm clasp of kindly hands.
Nowhere did I find any of the family name hanging from a tree. Without doubt there have lived those in whom we can take no pride, but for the most part the record is of good, clean, honest, upright men and women who did not shrink from hardship or toil, endeavoring to make full their contribution to the generation in which they lived. Not without their story can be written the complete history of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee or Indiana. These, and other states of the Union, have been enriched by the influence of those strains of truth, faith, and righteousness instilled into his descendants by the preacher Hans Landis whose martyred blood still speaks to us across the centuries.