I’m a 52 year old retired “American Girl”. Not really the flag waving type, more the listening to the wind, black sheep of the family, dance to my own drummer type-but the blood in my veins comes from so many branches, so many places, down to the one and only ME.
I’ve been fascinated with genealogy since hearing about that classic “Cherokee grandmother” and been searching for her ever since.
Family stories change in the face of LDS archives, DNA tests, and chromosomes that speak from places I never dreamed I’d be from.
Mostly white, boringly European, or so I thought, until research hit on a cache of interesting folks and I began to look beyond the possible Cherokee culture to the real still-existent culture of Europe, the many Celtic lands, England, and even places as far flung as the Middle East and Morocco.
It’s a giant puzzle! If I am at the center, the trunk-my ancestors are, in typical Nature-fashion, the branching patterns of history. Exponentially growing with each generation to include thousands of people. Not just names, but people who lived, loved, endured hardships and sometimes enjoyed great luxury, and died. All of them. Real people, with faces and children and weaknesses and strengths.
I hope that when I die, they are lined up. I want to meet them all! I want to hear their stories, meet their children see their faces-they are my family!
And now, thankfully, I have my own family, so the tree stretches into the future. I want to leave those small branches something. Photos to show them a cheek or a forehead from a German Grandmother, or a strong will from a long ago princess. I want to help them find their own home. I want to leave a trail of breadcrumbs that helps-just helps them find their way to themselves.
And it’s FUN! “Staying up late with the dead people” is what I call it. Sometimes you search for hours until your eyes are crossed and your feet are chill and find nothing. Occasionally you hit the mother-lode, one that instantly changes your perception of who you are. FASCINATING how all of these old dead folks can change us. Shape us. They are us.