The Ancestor Approved Award asks that as a recipient, I list ten things I have learned about any of my ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened me and pass the award along to ten other bloggers who I feel are doing their ancestors proud.
Here are the 10 things I have learned from my ancestors:
- Risk-taking permeates the very roots of my family tree. Whether they crossed an ocean or scaled a mountain range, my ancestors saw promise outside their circumstances and pursued their dreams of a better life. This drive for improvement is evident in every generation including my grandchildren's.
- Physical attributes and personality traits are more prevalent in our genes than we might believe. One of my living relatives looks so much like a nineteenth century ancestor, it's almost eerie.
- The depth of my feelings for people who lived and died a hundred years before me continues to surprise me. I honor their wishes, protect their secrets, accept their shortcomings. These people are my family and I hold them close to my heart.
- It is agony to see our grandchildren in a rearview mirror knowing it will be months before we see them again. How could my ancestors say goodbye, knowing they would never see their children again? Knowing they would have grandchildren, but never hold them, or hug them, or even hear their voices?
- My car rests in the garage, my great-great-grandmother's horse shivers out back. My dishwasher has a china setting, my great-grandmother heats water for dishes on a woodburning stove. My grandchildren ride to school on a bus, my grandparents worked in a factory. Enough said.
- One of the very first census records I saw listed my great-great-grandfather's sisters as domestics in a nearby town months after they immigrated from Sweden. They were 13 and 15 years old.
- Immigration issues look a lot different to me now than they did 25 years ago.
- Susan B. Anthony be praised.
- Family stories and tall tales have a lot in common.
- Ours is not to pass judgment on the past. We have only to show the cloth woven by a family of threads; some golden, some frayed.