In the lifetime of all who arrive at mature age, there comes a period when a strong desire is felt to know more of the past, especially to know more of those from whom we claim descent. Many find even their chief pleasure in searching among parish records and local histories for some knowledge of ancestors, who for a hundred or five hundred years have been sleeping in the grave. Long pilgrimages are made to the Old World for this purpose, and when the traveler discovers in the crowded church-yard a moss-covered, crumbling stone, which bears the name he seeks, he takes infinite pains to decipher the half-obliterated epitaph, and finds in this often what he regards as ample remuneration for all his trouble. How vastly greater would be his satisfaction if he could obtain even the simplest and briefest history of those in whom he takes so deep an interest. Who were they? How were their days spent, and amongst what surroundings? What were their thoughts, fears, hopes, acts? Who were their associates, and on which side of the great questions of the day did they stand? A full or even partial answer to these queries would possess for him an incalculable value.