Another hobby we have picked up in retirement is the research into our family trees. It is like a jig-saw puzzle; slowly forming a picture of what you are “made of” and where your family came from. Without www.ancestry.com I am not sure I would be so enthusiastic, though. This website is loaded with information. I have found the passenger list for my great-great grandfather and grandmother from Liverpool, England to Boston, Massachusetts. He was an Irishman from Killarney, Ireland and she was from Somerset, England (Wales). The website actually has scanned copies of the list, censuses taken in the 1800’s both in the U.S. and England/Wales, and, get this…the scanned copy of my grandfather’s draft card for World War I.
My maternal grandmother’s family came from France in the 1600’s (French Huguenots) and my husband’s mother’s family came from Ireland as part of the Scotch-Irish immigration in the 1700’s. And my paternal grandmother’s grandparents were from Ireland, too. It is pretty safe to say that we both can celebrate St. Patty’s day. But then, add to the soup, English-Canadian and German for Mike’s paternal grandparents.
Remember the corny dialog from the comedy, “Stripes”? ‘We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts! But there's no animal that's more faithful, that's more loyal, more loveable than the mutt.”
We plan to stop at the towns and cemeteries that our family trees indicate is a significant place. Another interesting way to get to know our country, our family and enjoy our travels. And an excuse to extend our travels some day, to visit some far-off lands.