Beginning to tell the story of the Waddell family is a rather daunting task. It feels likened unto taming an epic tale, of heroes and journeymen, of quests and far off lands, of such great ends as the pursuit of honor, justice, and love. But, perhaps, the Waddell story doesn’t begin so grand as one would think. The Waddells were and are not a particularly extraordinary group of people; modest, hearty and sure-footed, stern of disposition–such are but a few traits that so aptly fit the Waddell. Though they were a simple people of humble roots, generations would prove them to be a pious, and steadfast people who sought to see the glory of their Lord shown in all matters of life, and to some, even so unto death. The story of the Waddells is a wonderful, and encouraging example of ordinary people rising to extraordinary occasions, in service, in vocation, and in spirit.
In light of the Waddell experience, some words that seems to aptly fall into view can be found in Psalm 25:
The meek and lowly he will guide,
in judgement just alway:
To meek and poor afflicted ones
he’ll clearly teach his way.
The whole paths of the Lord our God,
are truth and mercy sure,
To such as keep his covenant,
and testimonies pure.1
Certainly these words rang true for the Waddells of old, not just upon lip, but in life. As we explore the Waddell lineage, the fruits of this promise will be evident over time as old covenants take root and are manifested in generations past.
My hope is that you will find interest and encouragement from this collection of historical sketches I have compiled, not just of names and dates and places we vaguely know, but of stories that are the realities of who we are, and who we have been. Perhaps you, too, can experience their triumphs as your own, their losses as your losses, and be so affected as I have to connect to these people, not as mere pieces of history, but as family.
1 – 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter, The Psalms of David in Metre, Psalm 25:9, 10
Image: © Copyright James Denham and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons.