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This is a great question for the discussion board.
My father had our genealogy done about 7 years ago and I got to read it, which was really interesting! My family tree traces back to one of the first settlers in this country at Jamestown. There is English, German, British, and Native American in my lineage, mostly.
Family history is very important to my family. Both of my parents had large families that were very close. I have 2 older siblings and 1 younger sibling, and we are all close and are close with my parents. It is important to me that my own children know their family histories, as well, so once they are old enough, they will learn much more about them.
I like this question. My family is just like most Americans--a mix of nationalities. My mother's family is English, with names like Reeves and Morton. My paternal grandfather's people were Irish, but that's all we know. My paternal grandmother was Cherokee; believe it or not, we've been able to trace her family back the farthest. The Cherokee were one of the "civilized" nations, and they kept very good records. We know that her people left North Carolina sometime before 1880 and ended up in Tennessee before 1900. I'd love to be able to pass on customs and traditions, but that's not easy. My grandmother was a minority in an all-white community. The women of her family were trained to be medicine women, healers. But when she married my grandfather, she decided to live like a white woman. She did use her medicines on her own children, but refused to pass them on to grandchildren because she was afraid her daughters-in-law would accuse her of poisoning their children. I have just one story of how she helped her aunt Sallie take care of people during a measles outbreak.
This is a very neat discussion question. I am very interested by my lineage, even though, at this point, I can only follow half of my "true" family. My mother was adopted when she was small, and though she knows something of her birth family, she doesn't want to tell me about it, and has no interest in finding them. As she says, she has one crazy family already, why would she want another?
My paternal ancestors are Irish, but left during the Potato Famine and moved to Atlantic Canada. On this side of my family I am 5th generation Canadian. Most of my family still lives in the Maritimes, while my parents and I live in Ontario, but we visit family often. My mother's adoptive family is Irish as well, and we believe that her birth family is Irish or Scottish.
Because my extended family lives quite far from me, and I only see them occasionally, there aren't really any traditions from my grandparents, etc., that I hold to. However, I do hold the traditions that I have gotten from my parents of great import. I am an only child, and I'm extremely close to my parents, therefore I have a large connection to our traditions, even if they're small things, like what we always do on holidays, etc. These traditions will definitely be passed down to my children. I feel extremely lucky to have the family that I do, and I want my children to experience this too.
As far as dress and food, I'm very much a "white North American".
On my mother's side, we have Scottish, Irish, and Cherokee heritage. My great-great grandfather came to America from Scotland, settled in Georgia, and married a Cherokee lady. One of his sons fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy.
On my father's side, we have English and French that we know of, but I'm sure that, like most Americans, we're mutts even more than we know!
My husband's family has Scottish and Polish - his last name, Bogut, was originally something like Bogetski, but it was Anglicized when they came to America.
We enjoy learning more about our Scottish heritage. My mom and I got to go to Scotland a few years ago, and we went to Dunfermline, which is where her family came from. It was pretty cool to be walking in what may have been their footsteps. In addition, we enjoy attending the Highland Games that happen every year. We've been to the ones in Spokane, Portland, and Boise, and my mom and sister have been to the Stone Mountain, Georgia, games, which are pretty amazing, from what they've told me.
Both sides of my mother's familly, the Wierbowskis and the Gudauskuses, came here from Lithuania in the early 1900's. My grandfather was number 13 of 14 children, which were the first generation born in the U.S. The family settled in Pennsylvania (as did a lot of Lithuanian immigrant families... that's how he met my grandmother) and worked in the coal mines until my grandfather (with his family, including my mom) moved to the Buffalo, NY area. He fought with the US Marines at Iwo Jima, and was one of the men who survived to raise the flag, not once but twice, because the first flag was too small to be seen below.
On my father's side, his grandmother came here from Russia; however, the Merrick family originated in Wales. The Merricks settled down south where my great-grandmother met her husband. My great-grandfather Campbell's family came to America from Ireland, but they were Scots-Irish. My great-grandfather took advantage of the fact that his wife could not read English, and he had her sign a document that resulted in all of her finances and assets from her father's estate going to him... and then he abandoned her with six kids to work in a cotton field to make ends meet. My grandmother, the eldest, moved to Buffalo and began her life over.
America... that wonderful Melting Pot!
On my father's side there is a German line and an English line. The German line came to the USA in the 1850's. The English side emigrated to Australia in the early 1900's and to the USA in the 1920's.
On my mother's side, her father's father was born in Germany and came here to practice medicine. Her mother's side has very old roots in the country including one relative who was on one of the first three ships coming from England.
Another relative was Scottish. He was involved with a group that refused to show loyalty to the King. He and the group were given a choice-- exile in America or death. Many chose death! Of those that chose the boat to America, more then half died during the journey.
We have lots of German on my dad’s side. His mother’s name was Schott. Some English on his side too. My mother’s side was Scottish, Irish, and rumor has it some Native American. Rumor also indicated we were distantly related to Wil Rogers, but who knows?:D
My family is as English as English can be - stories that stand out to me from my family is that my great grandmother was one of 13, and only 6 survived past childhood. My great grandfather fought in the First World War at Galipoli in the Calvary, and once the war was ended, he had to kill his own horse because they were not able to be transported back. My grandfather served in the British Army in India and saw Ghandi once. Every family has its heritage and I am proud of mine!
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