Get Back To Your Roots
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Get Back To Your Roots

Using ancestry.com just confirmed that my family has a history of being party animals.

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Get Back To Your Roots
ancestry.com

Earlier this week I got crazy bored and decided to check out ancestry.com, a website used to track your ancestry based on public records. I'm pretty enlightened on my family history, or so I thought. There's a lot of things I already know, like how my great grandfather on my mother's side was a prisoner of war during World War II and my grandmother on my dad's side was married at 16 and had eight children (all naturally might I add). But Ancestry threw me for a loop when I found my great great grandparents on my mom's side. I obviously knew I had a slew of relatives I didn't know about, but I had no idea how interesting they all were.

I chose to talk about this this week because people tend to disregard their family history. When I tell people that I am part Native American they usually disregard it because that part of me is two generations back. I usually tell those people to shove it. I have an amazing family, and why wouldn't I want to cherish all of the parts of them that brought them into existence in the first place? There is so much in our family history that is worth knowing and appreciating. I love knowing that my third great grandfather had 12 children. I love knowing that my great grandfather risked his life during the Holocaust. I love knowing that I come from a long line of people that lived lives so different from mine. How cool is it to know all of that?

There were some things that were cooler than others, however!

I was named after my great great grandmother, Isla Elizabeth Hansil. I've heard a lot of stories about how wonderful she was. She died at 93 in 1980 when my mom was 10 years old. She had six children, one of which had down syndrome. All of her children have died except for my great grandmother who turned 91 in April. Now this might seem like a bunch of basic information, but here's my favorite part. Isla lived in Belmont, North Carolina in the 1930s, which is where my sister lives now. There was a huge celebration in Belmont when the 18th amendment was repealed and prohibition came to an end. Apparently my great grandma made an appearance. In lieu of my 21st birthday coming up in a few days, this was exactly how I want to imagine my grandmother. Apparently a desire to party runs in the family!

When the U.S. declared war on Germany in 1917, my Cherokee great great grandmother Chonnie Victoria Denny was living in Pilot, North Carolina. Her father, Squire Denny, shared the same ground with the Wright Brothers in North Carolina when they first took flight in 1903.

The African American side of my family has proven quite challenging to track down, which I am assuming is due to the status of Blacks in the past. But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop searching. There is so much I want to uncover and I can't wait to find it all.

My point is, there is so much to learn about your family. You never know what you might find.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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