Monday, February 18, 2008

Who Am I and Where Did I Come From?

A few weeks ago, I got a junk email from Ancestry. com, and instead of adding it to my junk pile like I would normally do, I actually clicked on the link. I figured what the hell. After a recent visit from my cousin, who I hadn't seen in over 10 years, I began to wonder a bit about where I came from and how I became me. There are some pretty obvious answers to those questions, and one of them begins with "When a man and a woman are really in love...", but that's not quite what I mean.

Once my mother died, I kind of lost touch with her side of the family. I guess that's as much my fault as it is theirs, so no blame shall be laid on that doorstep. But I do have questions about both sides of the family and unfortunately, those who might have been able to answer them are no longer around. So, blah, blah, blah, I went to and plugged in what little information I knew. Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit - there are actually other people related to me! And they're out there in cyberspace!

I've found out a couple of interesting facts; the first one being that one of my ancestors on the Blake side of the gene pool came over to America from Ireland (okay, lots of them came from there), only to quite literally run off and join the circus, or at least run off with a man who was part of a circus. The other interesting tidbit I learned was that my great-grandmother on the Riley side was one of 11 children and apparently not a single one of them ever moved away from southern Alabama. EVER. FOR ANY REASON.

According to my father, one of my great-grandmother's brothers, Billy, was about as nutso as the day is long. I'm really going to see if I can find documentation to prove that, because I'd love to pin my crazy days on some long lost ancestor. ;)

Now, there is one little and potentially scary drawback to all this geneology stuff. The other night, just a couple of days after I discovered there are a bunch of potential southern cousins - way far removed, of course - Kenin and I were watching a show on Tru TV about the beach patrol in Panama City Beach, FL, which is a favorite exotic destination for those in south Alabama. Lo and behold, there was a redneck (I can call him this because he had a mullett haircut and it was obvious from the look of it that the old Billy Ray Cyrus was a hero to this guy) who was wearing rebel flag swimming trunks. Because he was, well, a dumbass, he decided to flash his rear to the beach patrol officer. Naturally, the officer wrote him a ticket and impressed upon him the importance of leaving his home in Luverne (pronounced Lu-vern), Alabama, and returning to Panama City for his court appearance. Now, it just so happens that Luverne is really, really, really close to Greenville, where my mothers family was from and it occurred to me that THIS COULD BE MY RELATIVE.

Maybe this geneology thing isn't so great after all.

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