A large grove of aspen best describes the John Brown Family Tree.
Above ground, it looks like each-and-every family member is standing alone – some a few feet from the next family member and some miles and generations away. Never interacting, never sharing stories, because a relationship to John Brown has the perception of being somehow shameful, something to hide.
The wind blows the branches of the large group of trees back and forth, and occasionally the branches and leaves of one tree touch another. As if the trees are saying, "Yes, we are family and I am willing to share some of my information with you. But only a little bit, then I will stand up straight and be alone again."
However, just like the large groves of aspen that develop from a single root system, the many John Brown family members share the strength and stability of a single unified root system that spreads for miles connecting one to another.
The Brown family was well aware of the need of unification and the need to share in the early 20th century when annual Brown Family Reunions occurred in Hudson Ohio. These gatherings of extended family celebrated the kinship and family bonds of the descendants of Owen Brown, John Brown's father, until the early 1960s.
A spider web of roots connects the wide spanning Brown family into a cohesive community. I am trying, with my genealogical research and communications, to get the family back together. I look forward to the day when all of the "Brown Descendants" are proud of their interconnecting family tree roots.
Entire groves of aspen trees commonly develop from a single root system. This means that large groups of aspen trees can be essentially one organism growing together as a clone.
This post was written for the Carnival of Genealogy Blog # 110 What tree best represents your family’s history?