Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Family Tree

On Sunday, C. and I took the kids out to C.'s grandmother's property on the state line (a two-hour drive). She passed away a little more than a month ago and we missed the funeral because we were out of the country. She was 91 and lived a long, eventful life.

We planted some flowers under a tree on her property and then visited her grave and placed flowers there. She is buried next to her husband who passed away in 1971. Her parents are buried next to them - they passed away in the mid 60s. After we left the grave, we talked to C.'s aunt and uncle for awhile - and his uncle was telling stories about his dad (C.'s grandpa) from WWII and after. It was pretty amazing stuff.

C. has been doing some research on his dad's side of the family -- this grandmother was his dad's mom. He has managed to trace one branch back to before the Revolution in Virginia.

I love that C. is so interested in family history. It has always been an interest and passion of mine - to know where I came from and what makes our family tick. Both my mom's and dad's families are traced back to at least the mid 1700s, if not earlier. I like being able to look back at those colonial Americans, those Germans and those Swedes and feel a sense of our personal history.

However, C.'s family tree research is leaving me feeling a touch melancholy. You see, we are married, but we don't yet have children together. We have a small little branch on the family tree - just the two of us. Yet, his kids' mother will always be on his family tree (with a dotted line for the divorce, I suppose) because of my stepchildren. That branch will go on, assuming my stepkids have children of their own, no matter what.

Because we never know what the future will hold, I can't be certain that our little branch will go on. I am happy that, for now, it's just us two -- but I do think I'd like to see what a combination of his family and my family creates. 

Related to that, my dad is the last in our family with our family name. My parents had all girls. I think there are some distant cousins carrying on the family name, but it's the end of it on our branch of the tree. I kept my maiden name as a second middle name for that reason. I don't want my parents' family histories to disappear just because I got married and took my husband's name. Not only am I part of C.'s family tree, but he is part of mine. 

Just musing. I guess it is a lot more important to me than I ever knew before.  

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you back. I'm sure you know when you go through family history that names are only a piece of the story. I feel like it's history, personalized, when I learn about my family and it's something I want to do more of.