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Thursday, July 24, 2014

What Is My Passion Thursdays: Genealogy and Ancestry

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Over the last few days I've been obsessed with discovering my family's genealogy and ancestry backgrounds.  My family is unique in so many ways because of the dynamics of relationships.  How can my mom and her sister marry a "Washington" and they not be related?  How about the fact that so many children on both sides of my family took on their mother's last name and not their father's? And why are there so many different spellings of last names in the same family?  Furthermore, the census reports stated that many of my relatives were farmers and laborers.  Was this their passionate career? Did they ever think of doing something different? Maybe a musician or writer?  Where did I get my need for artistic expression from? 

As the trip to S. Africa in October looms, the curiosity has increased.  More often than not, I've been told that I have very "Afrocentric" features that resonates from someone of African descent. More so, I'm often asked if I'm from there.  Yes...but not so direct.  I've been told I could be from any number of countries in Africa but specifically, being from South Carolina, that the likely area would be from the Ivory Coast or Ghana region.  I'm so curious, and for the life of me, I can not find a family tree from a previous family reunion from my mother's side of the family completed almost 20 years ago.  A good thing that has come out of it has been that I've gotten rid of a lot of paper clutter around the house...any way....

So if it's not all about your family's surname, then how do you really know who you are and where you come from?  In the discovery phase we found out about Ancestry DNA.  It's a new option for someone who's looking to get the details about their ethnic origin.  By finding what's unique about your DNA, you are able to discover your true roots.  Love this concept!!  So in a few weeks I plan to take the test, and should get my results back just before Rhonda and I head off to S. Africa.  And because Rhonda and I are identical, there is no need for us both to take the test.  As excited as I am about finding out my African roots, I'm also curious if there are other parts of me yet to be discovered.  For example, my mother's maiden name is of English-French origin. Could be coincidental considering many slaves took on their master's last name.  But what will my DNA tell me?  Hmm....will this discovery take us to our next travel destination?

Are you passionate about finding your family history or ethnic ancestral background, if unknown?  Have you found out anything interesting?

Sharee W.

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