Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ancestral fun.

The lovely and gracious Karen has put up an interesting post on her ancestors. So, just for fun, I decided to go to ancestry.com for their 14-day free* trial. In doing so, I get as far as putting in ancestors as far back as my grandparents.

An overview:

me (b. 1964 in Detroit)
Dad (b. 1934 in Cuba)
Mom (b. 1933 in Cuba)
PGF (b. 1900 in Spain)
PGM (b. 1907 in Cuba)
MGF (b. 1900 in Cuba)
MGM (b. 1905 in Cuba)

Pay particularly close attention to the dates and locations of the ancestors because ancestry.com has suggested that I have ancestors who lived in New Mexico in the 1820s, Participated in the 1910 Census in Middlesex, MA, and another was gallivanting around (if I remember right) New York sometime aroundish Prohibition. All this in the days before freq. flyer miles.

Now on my paternal grandfather's side, it's nothing but Asturians as far as the eye can see. This means, naturally, Celts. Asturians will cheerfully tell you THEY are the only Celts to have never been conquered, invaded or defeated by anyone. Not the Moors, the Normans, the Franks, or the English. (I think some credit must go to the Picos de Europa mountains)

Even more interesting is how my great grandfather cashed in his (VERY low-rent) title to pay off, rumor has it, gambling debts and how he used to proclaim himself, with no little pride, to be "a cad." His son (my GF) became a rather posh tailor. Nobody illustrious in the gene pool, but I am confident he dressed many illustrious types.

My paternal grandmother's side so far seems a rather nondescript array of people. Showed up in Cuba at some point. Maybe they ran some expedition up a jungle mountain, maybe they were in the Crusades, maybe they were enslaved by Merolchazzar, King of Oom. I've no idea.

My maternal grandfather's side showed up to Cuba pretty early on -- 156X, is the number I have stuck in my head -- and pretty much got into planting tobacco for cigars right away. I fear there may have been slaves involved in this. I also believe these guys were Asturians who bailed FAR earlier than the other crew. (Life in 1500s Asturias was not that much fun, especially in comparison to winter-free Cuba.)

My maternal grandmother's bunch are a pile of Sicilians that arrived in Cuba in the early 1900s. Via their dominant genes, my sister and I lost the family grey eyes and dirty-blondish hair BUT we can go out in the sun without turning a lurid shade of garnet in the first ten minutes. So it evens out. The Sicilians are also responsible for my mother's slow-to-anger-but-volcanic-when-roused temper and her chokehold on grudges.

Don't you feel better knowing?

-J.

* The number of flaming hoops through which you must jump in order to cancel without ponying up is damnably impressive.