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Question of the Week: Culture

by Susan Henderson on October 22, 2007

Tell me about your ancestry. Where are your roots, and what cultural traditions have you held on to?

litpark ellis island immigrants photo credited to American Memory collection at the Library of Congress
Ellis Island, 1907. Photo credit: American Memory collections from the Library of Congress.

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Wednesday, The Very Hot Jews will be here. They are a very addictive comedy team who tackle religion, sex, and politics. And besides being hot and funny, they’re both very fine writers in their own right. I hope you’ll be back to meet them!

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P.S. I’ll be in Chinatown on Wednesday evening to see my friend, Roy Kesey, who once let me crash at his place for two weeks and we’re still friends! Hope to see some of you there: Happy Ending, 8pm.

litpark roy kesey kgb bar nyc new york city
Kesey will be reading from his new book, but here he is reading from his last book at that other NYC haunt for literary geeks: KGB. (Photo by Mr. H)

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimberly October 22, 2007 at 12:20 am

Classic American Mutt, here.

Dad’s side: Welsh and Polish.
Mom’s side: French and Irish.

The primary cultural tradition that my family has upheld is classic WASP bottling of any juicy sap in the family tree.

And then… they found a menorah and a pair of brass candlesticks hiding in my paternal grandmother’s “discard” bin. (She’s the Polish half.)

Stinker that I am – I’m now trying to tap that vein. 🙂

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lance reynald October 22, 2007 at 1:57 am

I’ll take criminals and refugees for $500, Chuck… (I’ve always wanted to say something that silly in this context, you finally asked!)

did anyone bring a set of dice?

9 generations of marrying exactly who you were never supposed to (consider that some birth records were issued on the Rez while another branch of the family hosts an “intergrated” reunion), left us with very few cultural traditions…

We don’t really do holidays in the traditional sense.

but hey, that opens up the game to finding the ones that fit.

(do addictions and estrangement count as traditions?)

and…we love to travel, and fit in just about anywhere.

xo.

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Nathalie October 22, 2007 at 2:41 am

Mostly French, unles you want to go have a look at some of my great grand mothers (one Spanish, one Italian) but since I started to work I spent 12 years in Holland and 3 in Italy and this has erroded most of my national characteristics (which were never extremely strong to start with). A European, then.

Funny enough, last August we were adopted by a street kitten and when we took him to the vet, she told us it was a mongrel, only she said you could not call a cat a mongrel. The politically correct word for it seems to be “European”… We still snigger about this every now and then.)

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Silvia October 22, 2007 at 4:33 am

Interesting question, since I’m quite an incredible mix. I was born in Romania and I’m half gypsy (on my dad’s side) and half Jewish (on my mum’s side). On top of this, I’ve spent 3 years in England and I think I’ve picked up enough English oddness.

Strangely enough, I follow hardly any traditions at all. Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that I was born during communism, but more likely it has something to do with the way my parents brought me up. They didn’t want to impose one single religion or culture on us kids so we were told everything but followed nothing. I don’t mind, it led to me having a very open mind.

Oh, I do Tarot cards, but I picked that one up on my own, so it’s not exactly a tradition.

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Lori Oliva October 22, 2007 at 7:27 am

My father was born in Cuba, and I really grew up under the influence of that culture. Pig roasts, cigars, big, boisterous voices. On Sunday, there was always a big pot of black beans cooking. My mother is a mixture of German-Irish, so when my dad would leave town on business, my sisters and I would beg her to make a pot roast!

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David Niall Wilson October 22, 2007 at 8:21 am

Welsh on one side and German Jewish on the other. I grew up in small-town Illinois, and never really felt the touch of any early familial heritage. Even though I’ve traced my family’s roots further than most of my family is comfortable with, there is no real connection – sadly – to the ancestors who made us what we’ve become. Pennsylvania in the mid 1800s is about as far back as any influence is felt – very puritanical Methodists who settled Clay County Illinois…

That’s a great photo, by the way…the Ellis Island photo.

DNW

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Ric Marion October 22, 2007 at 8:36 am

Irish Protestant for the most part – early settlers in this part of the world – homesteads and big farms carved from Michigan’s solid forests.

My surname dates from the American Revolution – The Patriot – passable movie – was based (loosely) on General Francis Marion – The Swamp Fox (if any of you are old enough to remember when Walt Disney in the early years of television)
I am a nearly direct descendent.

For the Irish part, I have a complete dislike for cabbage, am not overly fond of potatoes, but am always delighted by the appearance of fairies, leprechauns and other wee folk.

Ric
http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/RicMarion

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Betsy October 22, 2007 at 9:15 am

So boringly American here at this point, but going back we have some Dutch and German and a few other things thrown in. One of my ancestors actually signed the Declaration. As for tradition, not so much – we have our own little Christmas rituals, but none related to our heritage that I’m aware of.

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Oronte Churm October 22, 2007 at 9:33 am

My mother was of the sky, / my father was of the earth; / but I am of the universe, and you know what it’s worth. (Lennon)

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Robin Slick October 22, 2007 at 10:07 am

You didn’t have to tell me to whom that quote was attributable, Oronte. Love it and wished I’d thought of it for my answer.

Father’s side: Hungarian/German
Mother’s side: Russian

My mother: Jewish agnostic who never went to synagogue or sent us to Sunday school but still somehow managed to instill the usual stuff associated with being Jewish (and sorry if I’m being politically incorrect but what I am about to say, at least in my case, is 100% stereotypically true): Guilt, especially GUILT, obsession with death, obsession with food and never leaving one morsel of food on your plate even if you are about to burst you are so full because (1) the children in China are starving and (2) food is love and if you don’t finish your meal you don’t love me…and last but not least, because 6,000,000 of us died in World War II “we can never have a Christmas tree, Robin” (and which I would later rectify by marrying a Christian).

And again, while we never went to synagogue, we did have chicken matzo ball soup and fried matzo and other suchlike food on Passover, not because of tradition but because my mother liked to cook and eat it…so much so that we usually had it for dinner once a month throughout the year, anyway.

After which my atheist father would light up a joint and drink Chianti in the living room and if we were really lucky, he’d be in a good mood and share even though we were minors and in 2007 he’d be in jail for that.

Yep, those are my cultures and traditions alright. At least it’s never been boring and my beatnik mom really was the greatest, despite the weird ideology most likely passed down to her by her own parents.

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Aimee October 22, 2007 at 10:49 am

My roots…
I too am an American Mutt. But mostly, I am English, German, and Native American.
I don’t have traditions per say. I would describe my family as types more than tradition. My American roots start in the hills of Kentucky on all sides. So, I come from people that can survive with no money, grow anything, and kill their own meat. I have known how to kill a chicken since I can remember and was raised on venison. We fish, hunt and grow our own food.
I also come from a long line of strong women. Kentucky women had to be strong because their men were in the coal mines, often dying and leaving them to raise eight to ten children as single mothers. Both men and women were strong union people. Coal miners had to be. My great grandfather was one of Roosevelt’s men. My Grandmother (on the other side)was the first female VP of her local UAW. She is in her eighties, and still plays gigs in a blue grass band.
Oddly enough, my SO Aaron’s family is from the exact same coal mining town mine is. We did not know that upon meeting. His grandfather remembers my Great grandfather being at his house as a little boy, helping organize the coal miners union. I guess it’s in my blood.
Half my family moved to New Orleans so now I’ve got a strange mix of blue grass, jazz, meat, potatoes and corn, and spicy food. Our Holidays are on odd mix of political debates (the Bible belt Conservatives against the…dare I say almost Socialists) with the chicken someone just killed, deep fried in an oil drum in the back yard next to the vat of…God knows what, that my cousins tell me is a ball (boil.)
Hows that for weird? Especially because in this whole melting pot, in a whole different state, I met a man who’s roots are attached to mine.

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Jody Reale October 22, 2007 at 10:53 am

I’m from Italian farmers on one side, Russian farmers on the other, which is probably why I married a lawyer; you have to like to argue in order to live with me. You have to like it a lot.

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Tom Jackson October 22, 2007 at 10:57 am

Catholic on one side. Protestant (and Canadian) on the other. Catholic side (my mother’s) has been in Central Illinois since the Revolutionary War days (great-great-great-great-great grandfather Abraham Haptonstall, a Dutch immigrant, fought in the war, was buried not far from Galesburg). My mother’s grandparents came from Ireland (they were O’Donnells).

My dad is the canuck, and his mother’s side goes back to England and Scotland. His dad’s back to Winipeg (my dad’s dad was a Doogie Houser-esque genius, starting med school at 15; the genius gene has skipped a few generations since). My great-great-great-great-great grandfather on my paternal grandmother’s side is Sir William Beatty, ship’s surgeon and close confidante to Horatio Nelson, wrote what was, at the time, a best-selling tell-all about Lord Nelson’s death. So, as I often say, our family has gone from blue blood to white trash in about a couple hundred years.

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Gail Siegel October 22, 2007 at 11:05 am

Very dilute Russian-German-Polish-Litvak ancestry: mostly Jewish though my mother looks VERY Spanish and my father’s dad was suspiciously blond and blue-eyed. So, before those European Jews boarded their boats for the US in the 1890’s, there was a lot of pot-melting and salad-mixing going on that side of the Atlantic, too.

Many generations on, we are sadly assimiliated and have almost no traditions that we share. Too many intervening generations of atheists.

Yet, I’m sure that our table, certain times of year, when we are called to a Passover potluck with friends (not family — family doesn’t do one) and our personalities (humor, warmth, story-telling, doting) are extremely judeao-eastern european.

My 84 year old uncle died friday and the funeral is today, so I will be surrounded by family in about 5 hours, including one of my brothers and the cousins I most love. I may adjust my assessment in hindsight; will have to see.

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Gail Siegel October 22, 2007 at 11:07 am

Tom, I love that: blue blood to white trash. Ha!

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Aurelio O'Brien October 22, 2007 at 11:11 am

I feel like the result of one of those SciFi movies where you get a weird confulence of random chemicals and it creates some new life form.

But is this a question of nature or nurture?

If we follow nature, my immediate family is a combo of Irish, Italian ,English, and German, my step-sibs are Swedish, one of my sisters-in-law is Korean, so my nephews are Korean/Swedish Americans, and I think there’s some Native American buried back there in my genetic past.

If we go with nurture, I was raised by a farmer’s daughter and an aerospace engineer, (with a paranoid schizophrenic step-mom thrown in) before that, railroad workers, more farmers,(a displaced hunter/gatherer too?)early NY urbanite immigrant laborers, back further, poor potato eaters and some sort of noisy folks who talked with their hands and lived in a boot who met some folks who preferred boiled cabbage and weinersnitchel, and before that there’s a bit of a gap…

…then African hunter/gatherers, I suppose.

Now if the Mother Ship would just come and pick me up…

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J.D. Smith October 22, 2007 at 11:12 am

How much time do you have? It’s a tangle.

My father’s people are largely British Isle descendants (English, Irish, Scottish, Scots-Irish, maybe even a Welsh person or two if you go back far enough). Some came to the U.S. before Independence, though none established any particular fortune or historical claim to fame, so I come from a long line of regular people, mostly in the Midwest for the past 150 years or so.

My mother’s family background was mostly Romanian and Greek. Because my Greek immigrant great-grandfather was alive until I was in my early twenties I have ended up identifying with that part of my background in spite of my name and predominance of other ancestry. Had I known an Inuit great-grandparent instead, I might have identified with that.

The only language other than English that I speak well is Spanish, which is not one of my family’s ancestral languages. Go figure.

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Aurelio O'Brien October 22, 2007 at 11:14 am

Side note: Susan, say hi to Kesey for me! I wish he were coming to LA, but we may try to see him at Davis.

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Lee October 22, 2007 at 11:43 am

Kentuckistan, on both sides.
When my ancestors wanted out of Kentuckistan, they crossed the river into Ohio, but it was clear that they were Kentuckistanis.
I think my family actually settled the territory thousands of years before the Native Americans arrived.
In fact, looking at “the old home place,” as I’m required by Commonwealth Law to call it, I’d say the original settlers of my ancestral mainframe lived in the exact same house.
There have also been rumors that my parents have been trying to perpetuate that I am 1/12 Cherokee, 1/2 Sour Kraut, and the remaining mix scattered from France and the British Isles.
My ancestors enjoyed sexual reproduction with whomever they encountered.

~Lee

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Jonathan Evison October 22, 2007 at 11:45 am

. . .ha! name it. . .i am as american as our beloved hot dog; and like the hot dog i have been fused, reconstituted, and pressed from a dozen disparate sources– irish, german, italian, scottish, you name it . . .pretty studly shot of roy kesey, there . . . good luck with the tour, r.k. . .

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James Spring October 22, 2007 at 12:32 pm

I’m Irish and Italian, which allows me to drink great volumes of the boozes, and still maintain my animated nature.

Ten years ago, we learned that our family name had been changed at Ellis Island. We were originally Springrice, to which my mostly goomba brother said, “What? We’re Chinese now?”

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Bernita October 22, 2007 at 3:04 pm

I’m Canadian ( she said politely) and except for an Irish protestant and a similar Scot who showed up direct after the Revolution, they all came from New England – where they had lived since the Mayflower ( Peregrine White) with French/Dutch Huguenot nut additions ( Anneke Jans) to the basic British bushel.

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Aimee October 22, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Lee
We might be related! My people didn’t discriminate when it came to making babies!

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Susan Henderson October 22, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Hey all of you people I love, this has been such a crazy day (a whole crazy weekend) of racing around, trying to be at three places at one time, driving here and there, managing overlapping appointments, etc. I’ll read every single post tonight and comment then. Tomorrow at the latest. You guys are such cool mutts.

If you have time, read Lance over here. Such a heart.

And here’s a link to a Marjane Satrapi interview, courtesy of the awesome Enrico Casarosa.

By the way, how are all of you in San Diego holding up?

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Jessica October 22, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Russian Jewish on mother’s side.

Polish/Lithuanian/Palestinian (Jerusalem) Jewish on father’s side.

Cultural tradition: FOOD! Matzo ball soup, chopped liver, Challah, brisket, fried matzo, Manischewitz sticky sweet red wine.

I probably inherited a radar system that searches for evidence of social injustice, new forms of Hitler, and anyone who has been victimized or brutalized for their beliefs.

Jessica

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Sarah Bain October 22, 2007 at 11:09 pm

German and English, North Dakota roots before German and Russian. My grandparents lived on a farm so the most basic of cultural, ancestral heritage we hold on to is work your butts off (though my butt is very much intact still!) and so if I am sitting and reading, I am NOT working (according to my ancestral background); if I am sitting and writing, well, I’m still sitting and well, is that work? Um, cooking, now that is work and cooking and eating is probably the tradition my family most has inherited—cooking, Kuchen, Peanut Butter rolls, Hallupsie, etc. etc. Oh, well the dishes need washing so back to work!

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Mark Bastable October 23, 2007 at 5:11 am

I think that Americans have a much stronger sense of their family history than the British, particularly the English. It’s because two or three generations back, all Americans have a story to discover. Generally, the English don’t. You go back four or five generations of my South London family and what you find is more South London family. There are anecdotes and surprises, yeah – but not what you’d call fascinating cultural roots. Petty crime and fish’n’chips – that’s about it.

On the other hand, my surname is Norse via Normandy (the Normans who invaded Britain from France in 1066 were actually displaced Vikings – ‘Norsemen’.) ‘Bastable’ means ‘boat-post’, we believe. Mooring-post, if you prefer.

I have this vision of Vikings pulling their longships up on to the shore of East Anglia, and the head honcho jumping out onto the stony beach.

“You lot – pillage! You over there – plunder! The rest of you – slash, burn, and generally create havoc. Oh – and you – the tall gangly one with the overbite. Stay and look after the ships. We’ll be back here Monday morning.”

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Susanna Donato October 23, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Somewhat typical – lots of German, some Scotch-Irish (although I firmly believe that the family tree that “disappears” in the Kentucky region had an interesting-ancestor reason to vanish). The other side is English, Native American and Creole.

Family tradition: Bad self-esteem. Oh, and camping.

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daryl October 23, 2007 at 3:11 pm

I’m actually of Martian descent. No, just kidding. Both of my parents were born in Ohio and generations of both sides of my family lived there. Before that West Virginia was a main growing ground and before that I’ve traced original European descendants back to Maryland. (I have a great, great, great, great grandmother named Sarah Jane Death who died in the 1730’s! Maybe that is one too many “greats” but I’ll bet that she was a “great” woman!) Before that we trace back to France and Germany on my mother’s side and England and Scotland on my father’s side. In essence though, we really are all Martian.

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daryl October 23, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Traditions? Strangely enough, I love sausage!

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Susan Henderson October 23, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Hey guys, I’m on deadline, and that’s only part of what’s taking my time right now. Also, someone who does a lot of work on our house, his 9-year-old was hit by a car going 30mph. It’s serious, obviously. There’s just stuff. And Mr. H is at tech rehearsal pretty much round the clock, so it feels very much like being a single mom. I’ll try to find some time on the computer tonight. Your stories are fascinating and I want to comment. Also, I want to hear from James Spring because I’m worried about you out there by all the fires. Check in, if you can.

Okay, I’ll be back when I have a minute to breathe. Hope everyone is well. xo

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Tina October 23, 2007 at 4:13 pm

It depends on who is asked. My aunts say German on one side and England on the other.

It’s great reading everyone’s stories.

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Susan Henderson October 23, 2007 at 7:56 pm

Kimberly – I’ve always liked stinkers.

Lance – I love that! And I say addictions, estrangement, and rebellious couplings counts a whole lot.

Nathalie – The erosion of any sense of nationalism is a positive in my book.

Silvia – Powerful mix! I was given the same religious training. Open-mindedness via nothing solid to hold on to.

Lori – I was hoping you’d talk about the pig roast. We had one on our street this summer for a block party, and when it got so soft it sort of slipped off the spit, except for the head, I lost my appetite.

I better post this so far and then continue in the next post.

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Susan Henderson October 23, 2007 at 8:08 pm

DNW – That’s a great little summary. I tells about your family and kind of a larger story of what happens in a melting pot.

Ric – Well, there’s an interesting fact about you I won’t forget.

Betsy – Some of my folks signed the Declaration, too.

Oronte – Lennon is cool. I knew Robin would be jealous.

Robin – Did the Hungarian side hang a glass pickle on the Xmas tree? Oh, wait, no tree. The story of your dad kills me. I can’t wait for you to share your news about that book!!!! P.S. I am such a nut for matzo bry.

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Susan Henderson October 23, 2007 at 8:24 pm

Aimee – I love knowing about you and chickens. I didn’t know you had Kentucky roots.

Jody – HA!

Tom – I hear white trash enjoys more fun and happiness than the blue bloods.

Gail – I want to know where your beautiful hair comes from. Everytime I see Gail, I have to curl her hair around my fingers. Enjoy those lovely cousins.

Aurelio – Yer funny. Your nephew, by the way, is a total nut. I love nuts.

J.D. – Very fascinating mix!

Aurelio – Okay, cutie.

Lee – Ha! That last line killed me. I bet you and Aimee are related somehow.

Jonathan – Like your hot dog analogy. And Kesey is a stud, yep.

James – Hey Springrice. I want to hear from you so I know you and your house are okay.

Bernita – Great to see you here again! And what polite roots you have.

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Susan Henderson October 23, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Jessica – I’m coming to your place to eat, Jessica! But hold the chopped liver and sweet wine.

Sarah – Yeah, I hate when working your butt off has no real effect on the butt. And I have to look up Hallupsie.

Mark – Well, that is some very interesting trivia about your name. I like that.

Susanna – So much Kentucky here this week. I like how bad self-esteem and camping go together.

Daryl – Her last name was Death? Why do I have a feeling she’ll turn up in one of your books? Maybe she liked sausage, too. You’ll have to research.

Tina – I love reading the stories, too. Everytime someone answers the Question of the Week, I see them more clearly, and I like that. Thanks for being here, Tina!

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daryl October 24, 2007 at 12:45 am

Yes, Death. Actually, the surname Death is an Anglicized version of the French ~D’eath. Upon searching findagrave.com, there are a lot of “Deaths” in Southern California. Wow, is that a loaded statement or what! I was kind of joking about the sausage though, as Germans and English cultures are big on them. And oh yeah, Sarah Jane will definitely play a role in my novel!!

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Tom Jackson October 24, 2007 at 7:20 am

“Yee-haw!” (Tom then gleefully plays “Oh, Susanna” on his harmonica while awaiting the arrival of his unemployment check.)

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Oronte Churm October 24, 2007 at 10:14 am

Robin, I read your “about me” on your site, and we have a LOT to discuss. Beatles is my middle name.

Aimee, we have a lot to talk about too. I’m from Southern Illinois coal country, and granddad was at one point (before Roosevelt) head of the UMWA for the state.

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Robin Grantham October 24, 2007 at 12:06 pm

I’d always felt disconnected from my family because I was a military brat. My father was in Vietnam when I was born. I’d lived in Cleveland, Mississippi and Louisiana by the time I was three. I never spent much time getting to know my roots. Well, there was that one summer I let my sister attack my head with a bottle of peroxide, but that is another story entirely. (A beautician actually pulled me aside while waiting for a restaurant one day and told me she could help me. Thankfully, she didn’t burst into sympathetic tears, but I think it could have gone either way.)

Fast forward to this past summer, when we took a trip to my grandfather’s cabin in West Virginia (think: rain barrels and decrepit outhouses full of dark holes and leggy, stinging things). While there, my daughter promptly drove off the side of the mountain on a quad (ATV), breaking her arm and landing . . . well, she landed in poison ivy, but then she had to go to the hospital.

In the midst of all this, my great uncle, who was a train conductor for many years, told me I was related to some of the participants of the Hatfield and McCoy feud. I’d been taking notes on other family stories, so let’s just say this information didn’t surprise me. I wanted to write a bit about it when I got home, but I wanted to verify it first, so I started digging.

As it turns out, I eventually discovered that I am distant cousins with a number of writers, and well, criminals. It appears that Thomas More (Utopia) is my 15th great grandfather, which makes me especially sad about his whole beheading ordeal.

Anyhow, you’d think the writing thing would be going better, but at least I understand now why I enjoy it so much. Then again, I haven’t tried my hand at bank robbing yet. (I have Jesse James on my father’s side.) Perhaps I’ve been barking up the wrong side of the tree.

xo,

Robin

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Susan Henderson October 26, 2007 at 7:46 am

Daryl – It’s amazing if you look up some of the old Victorian names people were given. I have a feeling this book you’re writing will be great. I hope you reconsider the sausage.

Tom – Ha!

Oronte – After the Beatles concert my kids did, I could actually go a long while before hearing them again. And I’m already starting to feel that way about The Who.

Robin Grantham – I’m a military brat, too. That’s a culture in and of itself! Now, go write a story featuring peroxide and Hatfield/McCoy relations!

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Michael D. Williams October 27, 2007 at 10:52 am

I like this topic. My ancestry is English, Scot, Scot-Irish, Irish, Welsh, Cherokee and Chickasaw. Both sides of my family started in the southern colonies and made the natural progression west. I remember as a child being with my mothers family in western Oklahoma and everyone being around an old upright piano singing old time hymns. They were very religious people and all of the older women wore long sleeved dress and since they never cut their hair they had big braided buns on the back of their heads. The men were very dour and aloof around the women but outside the house were loud and jovial. It didn’t seem strange to me at the time but what a different world we live in now. I spend the first Thursday of the month with my mothers family but there is no singing only eating at some chain restraunt and talking about current issues and not telling stories of the past. Kids sitting at the dinner table texting their friends and having no idea what happened before 1990. I see us losing our cultural identity for a more homoginized national and world identity. Is this a good thing? I don’t think so, other may, but not I. I think we should embrace all culture but we should not abandon our ethnic and regional identity to follow the main stream. Anyway I could go on and on about this one but I think you get the idea.

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Michael D. Williams October 27, 2007 at 11:03 am

Here is my great grandmothers life story. I typed it just as she did so there are misspellings and typos.

I have felt impressed for some time to write my life experences and I am going to attempt to write a few scenes if you Kear Reader will look over all mistakes and blunders. I have scores of friends in old Texas and Oklahoma to that will know me and remember these incidents. My Texas friends know me as Ella Davis from my childhood to young girlhood till I married. While my Oklahoma friends know me as Mrs. R.W. Leonard.
I live now at the present in Texola Oklahoma with my oldest son Edgar Leonard.

I was born in old Hunter on August the 31, 1876. My parents names were J.T. Davis and Martha (Hefner) Davis and I had as good Father and Mother as any body on this earth. When I was about one year and a half old my father and mother moved to Stephans county in the wild west them days, for wild hog trukeys buffalo and deer were plentiful. My mother was the mother of 11 children Me being the big old middler, being 5 older and 5 younger than I.

Ther in old Stephens County Texas I spent manny happy a hour. With my patents and brothers and sisters. How we loved one another. I never will forget the good advise my Dear old Father gave me or all of us rather. He was our advisor and Mother dear MOther she petted and smouther our heart aches she was to tender-hearted and sympathic to whip so father had that to do also. But I will forget his upright honest life befor me. My fatherand Mother were methodis. I wouldn’t take anything in the world for times I have seen me dear old father take his bible of the stand and read some scripturd and kneel and pray for God to bless his Children that none mith not be lost that they mite all be saved. They are both gone to that great behond and Ifor one aim to shank hands with them some time in the great City of God.

When I was 19 years old in the year of 1895 I married to one of the best men in the world. R.W. Leonard. 35 years we have lived happy together. While we have had our troubles and heart aches but we have had our happiness to. God blessed us with 6 dear children we raised 5 to be grown. God saw fit to take our first born away from us when she was two years old. That was the turning hour of my life but it tought me a lesson that I will never forget, it taught me to be submissive to Gods will.

Hope you found it interesting.

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Susan Henderson October 27, 2007 at 8:29 pm

I hope you keep copies of your posts, Michael, because I have a feeling you have a novel in you that’s coming out in little spurts over here.

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Michael D. Williams October 28, 2007 at 6:33 pm

Thank you for the kind words. Maybe if I would sit down and do it, you would be right.

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Phillip Aitken January 22, 2008 at 3:35 am

Tom Jackson Posted the following on this site (line 13.) on October 22, 2007 at 10:57 am “… My great-great-great-great-great grandfather on my paternal grandmother’s side is Sir William Beatty, ship’s surgeon and close confidante to Horatio Nelson, …”

I am researching my family tree and seek information on Sir William Beatty ancestors and descendant, and was hoping to make contact with Tom.

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