Ancestry Project

April 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm (Family Life)

Since the NBC show Who Do You Think You Are? came out a couple of months ago I’ve been very curious about where my heritage lies. If you’ve never seen this show, you should. Celebrities start building their family trees and actually travel around the world to see where their family began. Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from Friends) visited Germany and stood at the mass grave site where her Great Grandmother was murdered during the Holocaust. Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) found a relative who was tracked back to the Revolutionary War. It is pretty cool to watch this stuff so my mom and I got hooked.

The show is made possible by so I created an account there and slowly started building my family tree. Here are some of the interesting stories and facts I’ve come across during my search…

1.) On my Mom’s side, I am related to outlaw, Jesse James.

2.) My Father’s Grandfather was the first US Postman to deliver the mail by truck instead of horse and buggy and I’ve heard a rumor that there is a picture floating around of him posing in front of his truck.

3.) After hitting several brick walls with my Great Grandmother, Jean Adams, I found out through a 2nd cousin that Jean wasn’t her given name which is why I couldn’t find documented proof that she existed. At age 15, she decided that Jane was too boring and legally changed her name to Jean.

4.) One of my Great Great Grandfathers fought in both the Revolutionary War and Civil War.

I’m still hunting for family facts but I’m enjoying learning about where I came from. In this process I have discovered that I am very Irish. I had no idea! Oddly, I’ve been drawn to Celtic symbolism and Irish dancing/clogging for most of my life. So, I decided to get a tattoo to celebrate my Irish heritage…

I hope to find even more interesting stories about generations passed…the search continues!


1 Comment

  1. Dad said,

    Just thought I’d throw something else into the pot 🙂

    Somewhere along the trails of my heritage, there is a family member who was hanged following his conviction as a Horse Thief. I don’t know which side of the family owns this claim to fame, but believe it falls on the VanDerLinden side of the house. See if you can find out.

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