Anyone that knows me knows that I am pretty obsessed with origin stories. I’m not talking about comic book heroes’ sagas. I am talking about where things come from. What single thing sparked an idea that evolved into a common practice in everyday life. I love etymology. I love the idea of word roots and why they are what they are. I love thinking about where customs and traditions come from, where last names come from. I love searching for original intent and intention in behavior. Psychology is fascinating to me. Maybe it’s because I studied acting, which is basically a study in human intent. Whatever the reason is, this has spread into it many side fascinations, a major one being ancestry.
I spend countless hours and money a year on ancestry research. So many cultures have a deep appreciation for their ancestors. It seems to be a practice in American culture that has lost its value. Perhaps because we are such a vast melting pot of so many different origins and cultures, that it has become harder to trace. Or perhaps because people ran to America to escape from their origin story and rewrite a new one. But to me, it is such a precious gift to know your origin story. Unfortunately, dark parts of our country’s history has ripped that privilege away from so many who yearn for that knowledge. This only fuels my fervor to search for and treasure my roots that much more.
As I read about cities and wars and tales of my ancestors, I can’t help but feel a visceral connection to these people. Some stronger than others. With some, I swear I recognize traits that me or other family members share though we are separated by hundreds of years of time.
Thus far, I haven’t really done anything with this passion other than compile notes and records that slow down my computer as they pile up. I have thought about writing a historical fiction novel or screenplay about some of my favorite ancestral stories, however that would require that I be adept at writing! For now, I will share their stories in a humble weekly(ish) blog post.
Many of these stories are still tangled with endless plot holes and unexplainable twists. My hope in writing this blog is that I can solve some of these mysteries while sharing some pretty interesting tales and honoring the who, what, where, when and (the toughest) why, that literally makes up who I am.