Local man Elmer P. Dueck, 84, has spent the last forty years of his life meticulously researching his family tree, and has recently become the first Mennonite ever to trace his ancestry all the way back to Adam.
“Mennonites have moved around a lot, so it wasn’t an easy task,” explained Dueck. “Before Prussia and the Netherlands, my ancestors spent some time in the Fertile Crescent, specifically the region between the Tigris and Euphrates River.”
Dueck says that his Mennonite ancestors spent only a few years in the Garden of Eden before religious persecution forced them to move.
“Later on they had real trouble with the Philistines,” said Dueck. “It took thousands of years, but eventually they made their way into the Holy Land…Kleefeld, Manitoba.”
Dueck has documented his family tree in a self-published spiral-bound volume called From Eden to the East Reserve: A Dueck Family History, which he plans to give as a gift to all his grandchildren next Christmas if he’s still alive.
“When my friends say they’ve traced their line back to 15th century Amsterdam or Ghent, I just laugh,” said Dueck. “My line goes all the way back to Eden. You can’t top that…unless you’re one of those crazy Darwinists.”
(photo credit: Waiting for the Word/CC/modified)