"Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards."--Source Unknown
Thanksgiving Day is over for another year, but the after-effects still linger over this way. Not just that I'm still working off the extra calories I took in. Nor in the fact that I desire to be more conscious of my many blessings every day, not just one day a year. But also because of a discovery that came to my family following the day of feasting.You know how people claim that their ancestors came over on the Mayflower? Yeah, sure. Didn't everybody's?
In my case they did. Which seems to make my previous post personally a bit more significant.
I've always loved history--people's stories from the past. So imagine my delight when my dad's cousin emailed us the day after Thanksgiving with results of a genealogy search he did--one which revealed that a branch of our family is directly descended from Miles Standish. The Miles Standish of Mayflower claim, and military captain to the first Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. Yep, that one. The line that starts with Standish carries down through the Wheelocks to the Binghams to the Harrises to my dad--and to me and my family then, too.
I think it's exciting anyway. The news makes me want to read up on this guy. I know the name from elementary school history books. Now I want to learn what I can about the man. I've already got a heads-up on my research by checking out Cheryl Harness' The Adventurous Life of Myles Standish and the Amazing-But-True Survival Story of Plymouth Colony from the library.
And I'm visualizing a family tree. Do they make templates that follow lines from six-or-more family branches? For you see, there's Miles Standish on Dad's side originally from Wales, then my mother's ancestor John Young who came from Scotland. My husband's mother's parents came from Poland; he traces his father's side to Germany. My little grandson on one side has maternal grandparents from Brazil and Japan; my granddaughter and second grandson have paternal grandparents in Mexico who trace their lines one direction to an indigenous Indian group and in the other direction all the way back to Spain.
Whew. My head's spinning. But I'm determined. Writing is still my top priority. But mapping out this family tree for my grandkids is formulating in my mind. I'd love to leave this heritage in some kind of visual form for them.
I plan to do just that. But not right away. After all, Christmas will soon be here.
But if Thanksgiving opened up such possibilities, what might come next?
Any family tree stories you have to share?