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About us


                                 Why Our Story Matters

First, a personal note:  In the evening of a fall day in 1972 while a student

at Western Kentucky University, I received an unexpected phone call.   Art  

and Jan Arterburn were doing research for their book, The Arterburn Cousins,

and someone had given them my name, probably because I had published 

a few years prior in a local newspaper an article of historical interest about

an enormous old growth tulip poplar tree from the community of Flippin that

had been exhibited at the World's Fair in Chicago, in 1893.  However, at the

time my interest in family history was an ember yet to billow, so I had little

to tell them.  But I warmly recall my first meeting by phone with this amazing

couple, and I also consider this my introduction to the unfinished quest of the

ARTERBURN story, so auspiciously begun by them.   Jan and Art unfailingly

encouraged all of us who continued to pursue this quest.  They generously

shared their latest findings until age and health issues precluded continuing

their research trips to Salt Lake City.  Regrettably, they both left us before

many of the new discoveries about the ARTERBURN story occurred, made

possible in part by the Internet and the wealth of genealogical resources

now available online.

Descendants past and present have variously expressed their beliefs about

the Old World origin of our ARTERBURN ancestors, whether Scotch-Irish,

German, Austrian, Scottish, English, Indian, or some other.   Now, for the

first time we have cogent historical evidence, supported by genetic genealogy,

that our male ancestral line of descent through Peter and William originated

in South Asia, and most likely on the Indian subcontinent.


Nonetheless, every ARTERBURN descendant today can legitimately claim

ancestry in one or more of these other groups of European origin, because

most of us are a mix of most of them.  We need only look at the surnames 

in  The Arterburn Cousins  to see that intermarriage with spouses whose

ancestors are either known to have been or appear to have been Scots-Irish,

German, Scottish, or English has occurred in every generation since Peter

and William.  We are a composite genetically of all of our ancestors, not

just those of our male line of descent representing the ARTERBURN



Thus, as ARTERBURNS most of us have Scots-Irish, Scottish, German,

and English as well as South Asian— and very likely Native American—

ancestors.  Whether we choose to identify more with one or to embrace

all,  we are ultimately American, as is our surname.   We have a unique

and richly variegated family history, very much representative of the

"melting pot"  that underlies the promise of the American experiment

At its best, our country has succeeded in merging many different cultures

into one American culture, unique in aspiration and achievement.  Let us 

celebrate this and recommit ourselves to the work of American progress,

even as we seek to understand the Old World cultures of their time that

our ancestors left behind in their embrace of this New World of America. 


We welcome your questions or commentsplease click on the name of

any administrator listed above for an email contact address.



                                  “And you shall know the truth, and the truth

                                                 shall make you free.”