Family Tree

They say that you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been. (Who is they anyhow? Ugh, that’s a whole other rant. In any case…)

Recently I’ve started a quest to find out what I can about my family tree.  I’m the youngest kid of youngest kids, so I’m basically a generation behind the other family. My first cousins are my parents age and such.  With that big of an age gap, I feel a bit of pressure to get as much info as I can while folks are still handy.

Today I received a package from my aunt which included a list of birth dates, death dates, and off spring going back to my great-grandparents.  She even had the names of my great-great grandparents…well, one set at least. 

The thing that is interesting about it is all is the great chasm between the two sides of my family.  My mom’s family tree goes something like this:

“Well… your great-grandparents came over from Poland..or Russia…or maybe Slovakia.. but then it was Czechoslovakia… so maybe we’re Czech..or..well.  And some of your great aunts and uncles were born overseas and then moved to America.”

And that’s where the trail ends. We can’t even figure out if we’re Polish or Russian…but I’m half of whatever it is… or maybe not.

My dad’s side though has been in America for a very long time, so the trail takes me further. Because of my aunt’s ingenuity or perhaps organizational nature, I have a great start with finding out where I came from.  I remember my dad saying that my grandpa was a boxer that fought under the name Benjamin Ross.  I learned today that he took his pop’s name and his ma’s maiden name and voila- Benjamin Ross.

I don’t know what will come out of this search.  There have been some positive things already:

1. There are no repeats of maiden names/married names amongst the women. Guess who isn’t a result of incest! This girl, right here (The one with only two thumbs, neither of which are sticking out of my forehead).

2. The Boy’s relatives’ names do not show up anywhere on the list. Guess who’s not related!  Hooray!  Our future, hypothetical children also won’t have appendages growing out of their noggins!

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