My purpose is not to disparage or devalue the groundbreaking
work of Art and Jan Arterburn, nor to mimimize the immense debt
of gratitude that all ARTERBURNS who may be interested in their
family roots owe the authors of The Arterburn Cousins.
Rather, my goal has been to attempt to carry forward in the best
spirit of honest and open inquiry the task of a work unfinished, as
acknowledged and invited by them in the introduction of their book.
I continue to believe that truth will indeed set us free if our hearts
are in the right place. I hope you agree. This calls for an open mind
to all of the facts that can be discovered about our ancestors, while
withholding judgment about that which we can know very little—their
interior lives. They were family and the reason we are here, and
that is reason enough; they deserve our grateful and affectionate
remembrance. But even more, we honor them and our descendants
of the future by receiving and passing on whatever lessons for
good their lives and times can teach us.
In neither of my books have I attempted to reproduce or update
the family tree of the many descendants compiled by the authors
of The Arterburn Cousins. I leave that to others. (For instance,
Michael N. Arterburn has recently assembled a comprehensive
database of ARTERBURN descendants and also has a Facebook
page.) My focus has been entirely on specific points of the history
of those two first families, and on the question of ancestral origins.
To expect that The Arterburn Cousins is exhaustive and without
error in every detail is to expect too much. Some corrections have
been necessary. Hitherto unknown or unexplored facts have been
presented. New ways of looking at the available evidence have been
proposed that better explain what we now know. Some promising
possibilities for future research have also been suggested. I make
no pretense of having completed the task that was so auspiciously
begun in The Arterburn Cousins, but I do believe that I have
made important contributions and advances.
Finally, Y-DNA testing has added a new dimension in helping to
uncover our deepest ancestral roots, as well to clarify our likely
Old World origins in more recent historical time. The perspective
of genetics has also enabled us to see through a new lens that our
patrilineal (surname) family in which we claim relationship is only
one branch of a very large human family tree that extends far back
in time. While this Y-DNA Project is necessarily focused only on
our lineage through the males of our ARTERBURN ancestors, each
of us has over a thousand direct ancestors within just the past 10
generations. The (autosomal) DNA of all of those other ancestors
have also contributed to make us genetically who we are today.
I hope you find the entire results useful as a complement to The
Arterburn Cousins. Questions or comments about this project are
always welcomed. Please write to me via the group administrator's
email link, at the top of the Background page.
Cordially and sincerely,
Charles R. Arterburn
"Consider whether we ought not to be more in the habit of
seeking honor from our descendants than from our
ancestors, thinking it better to be nobly remembered than
nobly born, and striving so to live."
John Ruskin (1819-1900)