Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Family Tree

My mom has been working on tracing our family roots for the past couple of years. Not long ago she started doing the same with my husband's family. (We have a complicated and fairly estranged relationship with them and they have been unwilling to give us any information about their origins). She has managed to trace both sides of his family back to the 1600's, which is pretty amazing and very interesting. He has learned things about his ancestors that he never knew and which his family still may not know. He was raised believing he was German and on his mom's side he is. While too long and complicated to get into here they were actually Germans living in Russia and migrated to the US to escape religious persecution. We recently learned his father's side is Irish. His great-great grandfather was born and raised there, so it's a pretty recent connection. He had no idea. He also had no idea that part of his father's side were Canadian who later became US citizens. Needless to say, we have discovered quite a bit and it's a fascinating history from which he hails.

This week we were contacted by a great-great-great granddaughter of the sister of my husband's great-great-great grandmother (still with me?). She, too, has been working on her family tree and discovered the connection and was actually able to fill in many of the blanks about my husband's great-great-great grandmother.

It's just really strange to have these connections to people that can be traced so far back. I guess it puts into perspective how truly connected and intertwined all of our lives are to each other. I mean who would have thought that hundreds of years later, descendants of Irish and Canadian immigrants would cross paths in America? It boggles the mind.


Nancy said...

I've got notebooks on both sides of my family and both sides of my husband's family - and yes! it's so fascinating (and I love history).
We always joked how my husband was such a "mutt" - until we realized through research that his family has been in the US since the late 1600s and even "donated" land in Illinois!
My family on the other hand all immigrated in the early 1900s from Poland.
All the information has come in handy over the years for my son's various school projects too!

Joanne said...

How fortunate to have this wealth of information. I don't know too much more about our families except that they all immigrated here to Ellis Island from Poland and Italy in the early 1900s. We did visit Ellis Island to experience their arrival. Before that, it's all pretty much gone. It would be nice for you if you were able to meet the great-great-great granddaughter some day, in a wonderful family reunion.

Moxymama said...

Nancy, I agree that the history of where we came from is so interesting. I've always known quite a bit about my side, but my hubby knew little of his. It's neat.
Joanne, I would love to go to Ellis Island. I have always found the history fascinating. My brother-in-law's family arrived through there as well.