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Old 04-11-2021, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
57,734 posts, read 46,232,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
The only new nugget I found was that I was named after my great grandmother. She went by Christine, and that’s my middle name, that part, I knew, but I found that her actual given name was Susana Christina and my name is Susan Christine. Wouldn’t you think that someone might have bothered to tell me that?

If I had known, I would have carried the name forward with my daughter.
Augh! Names can be so important!

Here's something cool. My middle name (and that of all my first cousins - hmmm!) is my paternal great grandmother's first name. I never knew her but I did know my grandmother adored her mother. Here's where things get interesting. As I entered my thirties and then my forties, my grandmother began to tell me how much I reminded her of HER mother - because she could remember her mother at those ages. She also began telling me about how much her mother loved to read, her sense of humor, personality, etc. All very similar to me.

When I entered my fifties my dad began telling me how much I reminded him of his grandmother! And whenever I'd go back to the small town she lived in, to her church, where people knew her, they began telling me how much like her I was.

So even though I never knew her, apparently I look and act a lot like her. I really like that and I love that I carry her name.

One of my granddaughters is named in part for her as well. And so is one of my two daughters.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:07 PM
 
14,045 posts, read 22,768,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
We've never been a military family either - I have some Revolutionary War ancestors, and one who was in the War of 1812. But no military involvement from then to WWII when my grandfathers both served but only really out of duty. It's interesting because my uncle asked me about military ancestors and I told him this, he was really upset that no ancestors fought in a war or served for over 100 years. I mean, he was really upset and disappointed in our ancestors. Yet it's not like HE ever served. He said if he was younger, he'd sign up right now. Um, okay, but you didn't sign up when you were younger, so why be so disappointed in our ancestors for not doing it? I think he was more disappointed in himself and it was easier to blame his ancestors. It just shows how there really are patterns throughout family history. We don't have a big military family history, and my uncle is just a part of that without even realizing it until now.

But I struggled to understand why it mattered to him - we have several Revolutionary War ancestors, surely that's something to be proud of? So what if it happened much longer ago? What does it matter how long ago it was? Well, there's very little I understand about my uncle, lol.

On the other hand, I have examples of people breaking patterns. I've talked before about how my grandfather wasn't the biological son of his father, the man he was named after. He never knew this, I discovered it after his death. Certainly, his bio father was never a part of his life, and the man he thought was his father abandoned him as a child (possibly, he knew the kids weren't his). So my grandfather was raised by a single mother on a waitresses income, who honestly came from a pretty dysfunctional family too. He did have a step-father at some point when she remarried, but apparently he was abusive. So my grandfather, determined to rise above his circumstances, became an engineer, a loyal husband, devoted father, and never raised his voice or hand in anger.

I don't know how much learning about my family history has changed my self perception, but the results of my family history have, even if only indirectly, shaped who I am, by shaping the people in my life who have influenced me.
Whether it is changed my self perception, I’m not really sure. Well maybe I am. I always defined myself, like a lot of people do here in America, as a German American. Some people may be an Italian American, or an Irish American, but we seem to be always something American. It’s just sort of how we do it.

But I am now far more inclined to say I am an American. Because I can count on one hand the number of people in my family tree that came over after the Revolutionary War. Aside from my paternal grandfather and a paternal third time great grandfather, we’ve been here since colonial times. I have roots in very early New York City 1642 I believe is the date. I have a 1640 something in Maryland, and she was BORN there. A lot of my ancestors immigrated in the early 1700s.

On my dad side a number of them did fight in the revolutionary war. On my mom side they were Mennonites, pacifist. Did not fight in the revolutionary war. My third great grandfather who came over and 1811? Fought on the American side of the 1812 war.

Interestingly enough, for the luck of the draw on my dad’s side, almost all the men were way too young or way too old to serve in the Civil War. And my mom’s side they were no longer Mennonites, and a lot of them fought in the Civil War. All of them were Union. And one died at camp Millan in Georgia. A prisoner of war. And my dad’s side, four men from his family and one sister served in World War II. My uncle was too young. On my mom‘s family. just her two brothers. And one was a highly ranked pilot. And the other one was a mechanic so I don’t think he really saw any action.

I had an uncle who died in world war one, from dysentery. This was pre-Spanish flu.

At one point I was going to do make a quilt of valor for every one in my family that had served in the army since the revolutionary war. I simply can’t make that many quilts in my lifetime.
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Old 04-13-2021, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Virginia
7,236 posts, read 3,693,736 times
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No. I already knew my Mother was an illegitimate child, since my maternal Grandfather was in a POW camp for 15 months during WWI and my Grandmother wasn't pregnant when he went to war. The two likeliest candidates were either his BIL, who roomed in the house (Polish), or a family friend (Irish). Since my mother's initial middle name was the family friend's last name (it was later removed from her birth certificate), I'm going with the Irish one. Also, Granny hated all of her Polish relatives because they treated her and my mother terribly (but not my uncle) She came home from work from day and found that they had all moved from the home (they all lived in the same house), and left no forwarding address. She was a strong Irish woman though, and supported both kids herself by working in a cracker factory. Yeah for the Irish!
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Chemnitz, Germany previous in AZ, CA, AL, NJ,
3,549 posts, read 8,747,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Yes -- the naming thing popped up in our family, too. My uncle, the only boy in that generation, was given the middle name Frear but nobody seemed to know why except that his dad's middle name was the same. Turns out it is a family name going clear back to the 1640s to a Huguenot immigrant who fled France and settled in the Hudson Valley. That part was forgotten but the name was passed on. None of the cousins carry the name and none knew enough to consider passing it on.
30 years ago I was living in northern New Jersey, and frequently went to New Paltz, NY in the Hudson Valley as a weekend getaway area. I remember a historical site in New Paltz about the Huguenots! If you ever have a chance to be in the area, you would appreciate a visit here:

https://www.huguenotstreet.org/
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:56 AM
 
Location: The High Desert
11,011 posts, read 6,020,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
30 years ago I was living in northern New Jersey, and frequently went to New Paltz, NY in the Hudson Valley as a weekend getaway area. I remember a historical site in New Paltz about the Huguenots! If you ever have a chance to be in the area, you would appreciate a visit here:

https://www.huguenotstreet.org/
That's the guy. His house is a museum.
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Fairfield, CT
6,437 posts, read 9,500,951 times
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I've done some relatively mild/shallow genealogy research and while I learned some interesting things, it has not changed my self-perception. It did make me realize that I am a lot more of a WASP than I considered myself to be, but that doesn't change my self-perception either. I think people today put way too much emphasis on the past, and not enough on where they are going in the present and the future. It's a nice to know type thing, but we have no real right to take credit for accomplishments of our ancestors, nor are we to blame for any bad things that they did.
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Old 04-20-2021, 01:28 PM
 
12,413 posts, read 9,806,601 times
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Didn't change anything about me.. I learned a whole lot about some of my extended family.. Such as understanding why some people thought we were nuts.


The best stories..



The sons of Cunningham Albert Hanna. All of them. These would be second cousins 4x removed to me.



1) Robert E Lee Hanna - Someone took a shot at him in 1901 as he was riding his horse to church. In 1915, he was 'visiting' a house on his dad's property that they rented out. Only the wife was there. Then the husband returned. He got his shotgun and shot Robert, unloading both barrels. Then he reloaded.. And shot him again. Blowing half his face off. Robert lingered until the next day before expiring.

The husband was tracked down by a posse organized by the sheriff and put on trial. Where he was acquitted due to "The laws of nature" I believe was the term.



Obviously.. He was caught in bed with the other guys wife.


2) Belton Earl and Benjamin Hanna.. In 1912 they, along with 4 other people "and a negro" (Sign of the times.. I'm quoting from the paper) were playing cards on their fathers plantation. About 6pm a pistol battle broke out. Benjamin was shot behind the ear and died instantly. Belton was shot multiple times and not expected to live.


The greatest part of the newspaper story.. "The party had consumed three gallons of whiskey during the afternoon"


But wait.. There's more.. In 1933, he made the paper for getting put in the hospital for a week.. By a possum. So, not only did he live from the multiple gunshots.. But he climbed a tree to get a possum, which bit him, causing him to fall from said tree and get laid up in the hospital for a week.
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Riga, Latvia
8 posts, read 1,728 times
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Yes and no, my perception would have changed without doing genealogy as well. Initially, I thought that my ancestors were farmers. Now I see that most were city inhabitants: merchants, artisans... Otherwise, I do see myself more Eastern European and Slavic than before.
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Old 04-27-2021, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
26 posts, read 18,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
I wish I could trace my family like you guys and gals can.

One thing I did manage to find out was that there were many babies born that were adopted out, all on my grandmothers (mothers side) line, including my mother adopting out my brother. One of my grandmothers sisters son's had a possible GF that adopted her twins out, they were born in 65 like me. I know it was her son because the one twin I met on 23 and me didn't share the same maternal haplogroup as me. I wonder if the son even knew about the babies. On another sisters line I believe there were 3 or 4 kids that were adopted out, so far I have not found one on another sisters line, yet... I personally could never give away my flesh and blood.

The biggest shock was finding out my grandfather (mother again) was the baby of 12 kids and that almost all of his brothers came to the US and were some colorful people.

No military people in my side yet, though my father did defect during an uprising in Hungary.



I've been doing genealogy on my family (and hubby's) (and friends) since 1999. It did change my perception, in a good way. I knew sketchy details at first, like my beloved grandmother's parents emigrated from Finland and had 15 kids. I knew my dad's father killed himself at the age of 24. My mother was illegitimate, and we knew the father's name, but nothing more. Theories abounded, none of them true.

I never met my other three grandparents and I wanted to know who they were, what happened to them. I only met two of my grandmother's siblings, and had no idea why we never met the rest. In my research, I found so much tragedy, so many untimely deaths, multiple marriages, divorces, suicides, murders and babies born out of wedlock, some given up, some kept but unaware of their birth fathers. That sounds like a mess, doesn't it? It is, but somehow, most persevered, soldiered forth and lived their lives. With a lot of hidden heartache, true, but they were definitely sturdy stock. I admire them, more than I ever could've if I hadn't done all this.

I also found my mom's birth father, via a truly amazing accident. His family was surprised, but welcomed me with open arms. I discovered that I was classmates with many of his siblings' grandkids. (thank goodness I didn't marry one of 'em!) I traced our lineage back to the early 1700's and along the way, located 300 living cousins in America, Finland, Sweden and Wales. I even wrote a family lineage book, complete with photos and relevant documents, which most of the cousins now have, so they can share it with their children, grandchildren, great-grands, etc. Our family will never be 'lost' again. The only person I can't find the final story of, is my dad's mother. I may ask about her on here, 'cause you all are so helpful and such great researchers.
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:54 AM
 
Location: NJ
16,992 posts, read 25,447,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiritTwo View Post
I've been doing genealogy on my family (and hubby's) (and friends) since 1999. It did change my perception, in a good way. I knew sketchy details at first, like my beloved grandmother's parents emigrated from Finland and had 15 kids. I knew my dad's father killed himself at the age of 24. My mother was illegitimate, and we knew the father's name, but nothing more. Theories abounded, none of them true.

I never met my other three grandparents and I wanted to know who they were, what happened to them. I only met two of my grandmother's siblings, and had no idea why we never met the rest. In my research, I found so much tragedy, so many untimely deaths, multiple marriages, divorces, suicides, murders and babies born out of wedlock, some given up, some kept but unaware of their birth fathers. That sounds like a mess, doesn't it? It is, but somehow, most persevered, soldiered forth and lived their lives. With a lot of hidden heartache, true, but they were definitely sturdy stock. I admire them, more than I ever could've if I hadn't done all this.

I also found my mom's birth father, via a truly amazing accident. His family was surprised, but welcomed me with open arms. I discovered that I was classmates with many of his siblings' grandkids. (thank goodness I didn't marry one of 'em!) I traced our lineage back to the early 1700's and along the way, located 300 living cousins in America, Finland, Sweden and Wales. I even wrote a family lineage book, complete with photos and relevant documents, which most of the cousins now have, so they can share it with their children, grandchildren, great-grands, etc. Our family will never be 'lost' again. The only person I can't find the final story of, is my dad's mother. I may ask about her on here, 'cause you all are so helpful and such great researchers.

When I was 30, I was looking for something in the nightstand my mother kept pictures in. I found a pic of a baby who looked like me but wasn't. I then found a baby hospital bracelet and what looked like a rent receipt with my mothers maiden name from Catholic Charities. She fessed up about my brother. She decided not to give him up until Catholic Charities came knocking one day about 3 months after she had him, saying she signed a legal document.

We ended up finding him in 2004 on adoption reunion. He had all of his adoption paperwork so we knew it was him. His parents were pretty prominent, I'm not sure if he was picked for them already, but I imagine they were. They're long gone. My brother is gone too so I can't ask. He was very lucky to be given to a great family. He lived a way better quality of life then we did.

When I 1st learned about him, my 1st thoughts were that I hoped he wasn't someone that I dated because I dated with a few guys that were blond with gray eyes like me.

Learning about all of these other adoptions in my grandmothers sisters lines, it's amazing that I never dated any of them because they were around the same age, some in neighboring towns in my state.
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