My [amazing] mom is a genealogy guru. Discovering where our family has come from and the rich histories of our ancestors has captivated her for a few years now. It’s been exciting to hear all that she’s dug up!
In elementary school, I remember asking about my heritage and learning that, ethnically, I was mostly Irish and a little bit German. My dad’s side of the family had come over during the potato famine and settled along with the 1.5 million others who fled to America during that time. We proudly celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with homemade Irish Soda Bread and corned beef.
My mom’s side was a bit more of a mystery, but we heavily celebrated our German heritage through traditions passed down by my grandmother (Oma). Eating traditional kartoffelkloesse and sauerbraten reminds me of sitting in Oma and Papa’s beautiful dining room with my little legs swinging from the big chairs and hearing the cookoo clock letting us know it was time to eat.
I’ve carried these cultural expressions with me into adulthood. And then, this past month, my mama gifted me a DNA test through Ancestry.com. The results were NOT what I expected…
I’m mostly English? There was no mention of England during my childhood! I suddenly feel a bit more proper and could use a spot of tea 😉
Besides realizing that I’m 100% European, I’m intrigued to know the stories behind my ethnic identity. Does that 1% from the Iberian Peninsula include descendants of the shipwrecked Spanish Armada in Ireland during the 1500’s?
Are Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge (I just call her Kate 😉 and I fourth cousins removed? Let’s start planning the family reunion!
What stories have been passed down in your family? Do you have traditions that you practice?