What a wonderful surprise I received this morning when I opened an email from Lisa at Old Stones Undeciphered. She decided that this blog was worthy of the Ancestor Award, and has passed this honor onto me. Thank you so much, Lisa!
The rules of this award specify to list ten things I've learned about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened me.
Rarely have I taken an opportunity on this blog to discuss my own family research, preferring instead to use the blog as a mean of helping others. Those who know me are aware of the great amount of admiration and love I have for those who have come before me. It's my pleasure to share with all of you more about my ancestry.
1. SURPRISING- I am a VAN SICKLE by blood. I only heard the name a handful of times growing up. I recently had the privilege of passing this information onto my younger nephew and I think he was just blown away! And though there are many by that name, there are not many left from my particular branch. Who knew that I'd be the one that would carry on the knowledge of these hard-working people! In fact, I'm so captivated by this name that I have a personally-researched database on the family- 7,000 people and counting.
2. SURPRISING- There is an eerie resemblance between my ggg-grandfather and my father. I've also learned through pictures that long, narrow faces are a dominant trait in my family, as well as having a thin upper lip and a long torso. I can pinpoint the family lines where each of the above traits began.
3. ENLIGHTENING- Many of the people in my family share the same birth date and/or death date. I am in the hands of Father Time, but there may be clues to the date of my demise in my family tree.
4. SURPRISING- My ggg-grandfather, William BROWN, lived to the ripe old age of 102 years and 5 months. Years of research has convinced me that longevity is a genetic trait- phew!!!
5. SURPRISING- I always knew that I am a "Western European mutt", but I never knew that I have several French family lines. Vive la France! I've always wanted to go to France!!
6. HUMBLING- I have a deep admiration the women in my family who for the most part married very young, raised many children, and provided their children with a good future.
7. SURPRISING- A gggg-grandfather was married six times and a ggggg-grandfather impregnated his wife's sister. I guess it's not really all that surprising since this was before the time of television. :D
8. ENLIGHTENING- Almost all of my family lines on my father's side can be traced back to Colonial America. I am very much a part of this country.
9. HUMBLING- The distant relatives I've talked with through the years all are genuinely kind and giving. That's a lot to live up to!
10. HUMBLING- Whenever I've been able to help someone with their family tree, I feel a deep sense of connection between all people. And when someone tells me that I've made them cry with joy, I cry too.