The whole idea of tracing my family history fascinates me. I’ve made a few false starts and found some interesting tidbits, but in all honesty I like the idea more than I like the necessary research.
Luckily I have more diligent relatives.
My grandfather managed to trace his side of the family back to a man named Paine Thompson who served as a captain in the Revolutionary War. Before that our family came from Nottingham, England. That’s right, the Nottingham of Robin Hood and Maid Marian!
Those distant relatives still affect my day-to-day existence. Paine Thompson received a land grant in the Ohio Valley in lieu of actual pay from the continental army. Much of the land that downtown Cincinnati is built on was once owned by my family. Sadly other relatives were much poorer decision makers and the land was all sold away long before it was worth anything. I’m not the heiress I should be. But that’s how we wound up in Ohio.
Other influences are subtler. Like the way we celebrate the holidays.
For example, my mama-in-law’s family celebrated Christmas with a huge breakfast that everyone pitched in to make. Then they opened presents and played games the rest of the day while snacking on sandwiches and chips and holiday goodies. But she married into a family that did an enormous Christmas dinner. (Definitely a carryover from Victorian ancestors.)
It didn’t feel like Christmas to her to be stuck in the kitchen all day, and it didn’t feel like Christmas to him without that special dinner.
There is no right or wrong. Just different versions of normal.
So what family traditions do you hold dear? Which ones could you live without?