So I jumped on the DNA Test bandwagon. I’ve heard so many cool stories of finding long lost relatives and crazy family history that I felt I needed to see what’s up my family tree. I recently got my DNA results and not surprisingly I am Mostly English, Scottish and Irish. Shocker.
Recently my dad’s side of the family (Includes surnames Cheney, Quidley and Wise) had a family reunion in Kinston, NC. I won’t bore you to death but the elders of this clan have been doing the genealogy research for decades. We are prominently a family born and raised in Eastern NC since we came over from England, Scotland and Ireland. We are coastal people. We helped build the railroads and took care of lighthouses on the coast for a very long time. We also are military and a lot of family have lived all over the world. But they always come back to the NC Coast.
Our family has built cottages and family homes in the Outer banks of NC where some still live and vacation. (God bless ya if you’re still reading this. I know it’s boring. lol) During the reunion the ancestry lines were updated to show our family tie to the Lost Colony in NC. Cool right? But then it was announced that someone in the room may be married to a distant relative. Guess who? Yep. There was a “Farrow” line that showed up and that’s now my married name. So we are in the process of trying to see if that line is part of my husbands family. So everyone got a good laugh at our expense. lol OH well. Our children have turned out ok and there doesn’t seem to be any weird deformities so we may be ok there.
I say all of the above to say Family is Family. You can’t pick out your own. I have a lot more searching to go to figure out my blood lines as far as I can. I have already found some surprises on my moms side. Those will be revealed soon. But no family is perfect and not even close. We can’t change our history nor can we fully know it. We rely on DNA, family stories told for generations and pictures to tell our history. Our history is not always pretty or nice but it is our history. We cannot progress as humans and become better people without knowing our history. We can’t denounce our history either. So we must embrace it! Even if it’s a little dysfunctional.
History tells us that no matter what, we have progressed from the beginning of humanity. Our ancestors have done heinous things in the past and some today continue to do that. But you know what else? Our ancestors have accomplished great things too. They were kind and empathetic as well as hardworking and courageous. They’ve all dealt with horrible things and horrible people. Our history wasn’t always nice but it wasn’t all bad either. I think we have forgotten that.
There are so many who cannot trace their family because of slavery, adoption and family deception. DNA tests are constantly changing so those people may be able to find out more as DNA testing becomes stronger. I can’t help thinking about our black friends, Jewish friends and others who have had really dark times in their history. But I have also heard those same people tell the their family stories of courage and strength like no other. All that they endured and even in their darkest hours they left such a legacy. All of that is to be celebrated.
What saddens me the most though? It’s that not everyone has learned from history. That our progression as humans have come to a standstill. We are now a world full of people that are divided and full of hate. Can’t we see our past clearly anymore? Can’t we see how hard our ancestors worked to become better? I don’t think anyone’s ancestors would be happy with our current situation. We need to do better. If we don’t, our children will suffer. Their children will suffer.
Instead of working together for solutions, we continue to shame others, blame others and it feels like there are so many that WANT to keep us divided. We need to work together, promote peace and take the rhetoric down a notch to two. So I suggest you dive into your history. Talk with the elders in your family and write down those stories. Continue to tell the next generations about your family’s history and the strength of family. Tell them to emulate the courage and strength of the family patriarchs and matriarchs. Give the next generations hope and inspiration to carry on and progress to being better. We decide what our family history will be in the future. Make it good. Even in the worst scenarios. Don’t forget to take pictures and write the stories that need to be told in the future. So how’s your family tree?
Here’s a few pics from a very large crazy family. But they are mine.
Peace Love and Margaritas!