How important is our ancestry? Does it impact on the person we become? Very much so, I believe.
I have a deep interest in genealogy and while living a fair distant from any extended family, I truly feel that “family” is the essence of life. Whether you are in touch on a daily basis or whether its through infrequent phone calls/emails/letters, our family dictates so much of who we are. I was lucky enough to have a mother who enjoys telling stories, and evenings spent around the fireplace listening to her relate experiences of her childhood absolutely fascinated me. From an early age I wanted to learn more and more about my family and plied Mum with never-ending questions. I’m still asking questions. Every visit I carry a school notebook, with scribbled queries to jog her memory. I always come home with some snippet she had never told me before. So the fascination goes on. It’s inconceivable to me that many people have no knowledge of even their grandparents, let alone great grandparents. I feel so sorry for these people, they are missing so much. I watch “Who do you think you are?” constantly shaking my head in disbelief. Mum’s stories made her parents and grandparents come alive for us. She related happy and sad occasions, triumphant and disillusioning occasions, tragedies and celebrations. She suggested character traits we shared, or didnt share, physical similarities. I’ve been able to tell my daughter her six month old son, currently sprouting what looks very like red hair, will have inherited those genes from his Scottish grandmother, six times removed. I hope he will take some pride in that knowledge as he grows up.