Twas a time…..no seriously there was a time when I would and could spend hours upon hours working on my family’s genealogy. This kids were small, internet was dial up, and I could still find stuff without paying for it. Boy how the times have changed. I was lucky enough to have found someone who’s family tree crossed mine and I have my maternal grandfather’s lineage traced back to 1740 in London England.
I am counting on my aunt to trace the paternal side of the family. She speaks Italian and is in contact with family members in Italy. She is our best chance for answers on that side.
Speaking of my aunt…..do you remember her gift of Ancestry DNA? It turns out that the gift she gave me was Scotland. Now before I go any further let me preface this with I am a dark haired, dark eyed, olive skinned, pasta loving, red wine drinking Italian. That is how I was raised. I was thinking about this in the car this morning after dropping the girl off at school….all of those years at my aunt and uncles house with the fancy course after course dinners. My uncle would make some pretty elaborate dishes especially at Easter, everybody raved. Me? I was there for the cavatells and meatballs. Any regrets? Absolutely not! I make some pretty darn good sauce and meatballs and yet it’s still not as good as my aunt makes and will never be as good as my grandmother made. There isn’t a single food in the world that I would pick over my grandmother/aunts cavatells and meatballs. It is who I am, that sauce is in my blood and 46% in my DNA.
I called my maternal grandmother for years and years every Saturday night and one of the traditions she spoke of was first footing. Only she didn’t call it that, it wasn’t until years later that I saw this on one of the Outlander Facebook pages that I realized she must have some Scottish blood in her family.
I wasn’t completely shocked to learn I had some Scottish blood. I really, really want to dig my heels in and get busy. I have always hit a brick wall with this side of the family and now because of the DNA I may have a way to break down some walls. I can’t do it now and it really is a struggle for me because I want to do this.
This is a January/February project. Not a project to do in the middle of getting ready for craft shows and right before Christmas. I know this but every time I research something for my Hogmanay party the desire comes back. I am calling it a Hogmanay party for my fellow Outlander book nerds but since it’s not on New Year’s Eve, it’s basically an old fashioned holiday party with Scottish flair.
Everything I know about Scotland and it’s traditions I have learned from Diana Gabaldon. It’s a good thing she is vigilant with her research. My maternal grandmother made the best sausage gravy and biscuits in the whole world. Is that something her mom taught her? I have no idea. I don’t know a single thing about Scottish cuisine and staring next year I will remedy that fact. I debated whether or not to write about my frustrations in this area and again while I was in the car this morning a song came of the radio and they were singing about the Cumberland Gap. I took that as a sign.
I need to know where they came from before Pineville. All I know is that my ancestors followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky and settled there. I have tried to get on the Bell County Facebook Genealogy page but I haven’t had any response. My grandmother had gray eyes and I was hoping that might be a distinct trait of some nationality but it’s not. It is very rare but it didn’t help me narrow anything down. Frank Gray, Mary Ellen Baker, Joanna Swanson, John Baker, William Swanson Jr,Annie Napier, William Swanson Sr, Mary Hall, and there was a Jane McCullough in there somewhere too, those are my elusive peeps. It’s been a long time since I worked on this.
Is it all related? Maybe? I don’t have enough facts but I am a firm believer in signs…..Zia