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Monday, July 8, 2019

Looking WAY Back!

In addition to reading and stitching, I am active on Ancestry.com. My friend, Susan, really encouraged me to look into my family history. I have always found my heritage very interesting and the ability to research from home on Ancestry has been a real eye opener.

We have several family mysteries in my line and by researching I have found some answers.  My great grandmother Tankersley died when I was just one year old so I have no memories of her. However, I did know that she was "farmed out" to an older lady after the death of a parent. I had no clue about her family except that her maiden name was England and she came from Tennessee. Thanks to DNA research, I now know that she was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and that the England family was a large one. My DNA matched with some of her descendants through her brothers so I have proof of this line. Oak Ridge really stood out to me as Marvin and I lived there when we were newlyweds. He was working on his PhD at Oak Ridge National Lab and I was a nurse at the Oak Ridge Methodist Hospital.  I had no clue that I had a link to that part of Tennessee. I might have cared for some of my family at the hospital without a clue of who they were!

Another mystery was the identity of one of my great great grandfathers. All these people are long gone so I can tell their story (as I know it) without causing any embarrassment. One of my great grandfather's had his mother's maiden name as his surname. ( A funny story is that on his mother's tombstone it says she was a friend to all...apparently she was more than a friend to some!):) My great grandfather grew up to be a fine man in every way. He passed away when I was 13 so I have many memories of him.  Papa shared a name of the man he thought to be his biological father. Well thanks to a DNA test that I took with Ancestry, I know that Papa was correct because I matched with some of this man's descendants who would be his great great great nieces and nephews. Papa's biological father died when Papa was one year old so I wonder if that kept a marriage from taking place. Times were very different back then just after the Civil War.

You might wonder why I would even care about such things because, well, those people are dead and gone.  But I am the person I am today because of many lines of families who all had strengths and weaknesses.  Just today I found a line in my family who were French Huguenots and were forced out of France to Ireland. They immigrated to America and are buried in a church yard in Maine. I like to think that I still have a bit of that genetic code that helped my ancestors to deal with the storms of life. It is a real encouragement to me in hard times.

Well I hope your eyes are not glazed over yet!!lol Some of my family members are not at all interested in their heritage but I guess I got a NOSY gene somewhere along the way and I want to know all about my family!

11 comments:

Sandy said...

I think it is quite interesting and if I could get over the database and my tinfoil hat theories I would be all over it too.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That really is so interesting. I have never wanted to do this kind of research but there are some mysteries I would like to have cleared up. lol Southern families...always a challenge! I don't even know that much about my recent 'history'. Love that you're enjoying it though as so many people do. I should probably just delete this comment because it sounds twisted...I'm starting to ramble...also very Southern! hahaha!

Robin in Virginia said...

What interesting tidbits you shared, Arlene!

Dianna said...

Wanting to know about your family history does not make you nosy, my friend. I loved hearing about the things you are discovering. A year ago I had family history papers given to me and through using those I found the family cemetery on my parental grandfather's side of the family. It is located about four miles from where I currently live! Also through those papers, I can go back seven generations to where my ancestor served in the Revolutionary War. He is the same one who started a powder mill (gun) to help his family and friends protect themselves from the Indians who were still in this part of the world...back long before WV separated from Virginia in 1863. I find it all so fascinating.

Ramblings of a Retired Lady said...

How interesting to find out tid bits of family that you had no idea about.

Terri D said...

I LOVE genealogy and find it so interesting! Ancestry is a great resource and the DNA links are so fun to follow. My eyes weren't glazed over at all!! Have fun with it!

Rian said...

I too think the ancestry thing is fascinating. Both sides of my family immigrated to the States. Since I never knew my grandparents, I have lots of questions and really no one around anymore to answer them. We did the ancestry DNA thing and still check back on it as they update.

RJ said...

Oh I think it is very interesting Arlene. My Mom was very interested in our ancestry too. She researched it without the help of Ancestry because that did not exist back then. So it took alot of research and she found the Mormans the most helpful with ancestry information. She did both sides of the family and made a book for each of us girls. From doing her research, she was able to become a Daughter of the American Revolution.

My father's side of the family all come from the Black Forest area of Germany. And my Mom's family were spread out throughout England. I've been to England but am so anxious to one day explore Germany. I've been told that the Black Forest area is very pretty.

I think you must have picked up some of the best traits of your family because you are a wonderful wife, mother, Nana and friend. RJ

Anonymous said...

Love this post. We are into genealogy. Our maternal side is well done. We too are descended from French Huguenots. They settled in New York. Keep on searching.
Marion

Mari said...

I love geneology too. I have a relative on both my mom and Dad's side who traced the family back. No fun stories like yours though!

Mary said...

This was so interesting Arlene. I can use Ancestry for free at my library and I really should take advantage of that. I am curious to see how many generations you will be able to trace back.