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Roots!

By Judy Elting
Birth Announcement:

A boy, Patrick Lynn Elting, born October 11, 1941 to Russell LeRoy and Edna Ellen Coons Elting of Bushnell, IL Maternal grandparents Winona Coons and the late Edward Coons.

Obituary:

Russell LeRoy Elting, (photo) age 36, died May 20, 1942 at St. Francis Hospital, Macomb Illinois. He is survived by his wife Edna, daughter Donna Jean, aged 3, and son Patrick Lynn aged 7 mos.

The 1998 Reunion of the descendants of James and Cora Beere Elting was the first Elting Reunion that we had ever attended. Sure, there were other Eltings in the area, but as far as we knew, none were related to us. Elting Street? Had to be named after "the other Eltings". We were soon to discover that nothing could be further from the truth! Pat's Elting history consisted of a birth announcement, an obituary. No tales of Russell's childhood, no Elting holiday dinners, no celebrations of joyous Elting family occasions, no visits from Elting grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, no Elting history, no survivors except the widow and two small children. The children grow, marry and have children, the lineage continues, but still, for as long as can be remembered, the question remains; Who are we and where have all the Eltings gone?

Then comes a fateful phone call from a gentleman in North Carolina seeking to answer the same question. He speaks of New Paltz, the Patentees, the migration west, the proud heritage of the Eltings of McDonough County, IL. Could there really be a connection? His burning desire to discover our heritage takes root in the hearts of the Illinois Eltings one by one. Search the courthouse records, then the library, the MCGS publications, city directories, phone books. The pieces start falling into place. We have lived in McDonough and surrounding counties all of our lives never giving thought to the personal history and proud heritage in our midst. To suddenly discover that we are immersed in Elting history, and that we are a part of a proud heritage dating back to 1632 and beyond is incredible. To actually attend an Elting reunion, get to meet and mingle with our cousins, no matter how many times removed, is an unparalleled experience.

Thanks to James Wallace Elting's persistence and his vast knowledge of the Elting history, we too have been able to begin to answer the question. Patrick Lynn Elting, born October 11, 1941 to Russell LeRoy and Edna Ellen Coons Elting, grandson of William Lagerstadt Elting, great grandson of Charles Marion Elting, great great grandson of Phillip Henry Elting 7th generation descendant of Jan Eltinge born July 29, 1632 in Swichtalaer, Beyla Drenthe! ROOTS!

To Jim and Edie we are forever grateful.
-Pat and Judy Elting

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