3.19.2006

A Landmark Study of the Human Journey

Have any of you heard of National Geographic's Genographic Project? It's kind of expensive, $100, but by scraping a tiny bit of DNA from the inside of my cheek, I can find out something about my ancestral past, and the migratory patterns of the folks that I come from. Sounds interesting to me, and they need people to participate. As far as I know, all of my origins are European. But it will be interesting to see what I find out. You don't find out anything, apparently, about recent generations, but more about your ancient origins. Still, I always wonder about the more recent stuff. I wish I could get my Mom and Dad to write down things they know about their heritage (if either of you want to start a blog, I'll help you!!)...they both have boxes and boxes full of old photographs and stuff from their parents that neither I nor my sisters know much about. I have two wonderful big, old panoramic photos that my Dad and my Stepmother gave me fairly recently. One is a picture of my Dad's father, Walter II, standing next to president Calvin Coolidge, with Hoover right next to them, and a gallery of hundreds of people around them, at the 3rd Annual Radio Conference in Washington, 1924. The other one is of Norma's Dad, Olin, at a Military Base somewhere (Newport News? I don't know and don't have that one here with me yet in Athens) in 1917. Both were WWI veterans, and my Dad is a WWII veteran.

On my mom's side, she was adopted, and as far as I know, she is not sure of her nationality. But there are so many interesting stories about her adoptive family. Her mom, Marie, was 56 when she adopted my mother, and had already done many, many great things with her life. She had a sister, Charlotte, who she spent almost her entire life with, engaged in lots of different enterprises. Sometime in the late 1890s, when they were both very young twentysomethings, they moved to Atlanta and started a magazine called the Southern Woman's Journal. Within 5 years, it was a very big success, and was swallowed up by the competition, Ladies Home Journal. My Mom has several copies; it was a montly; but by no means does she have them all. I used to constantly scour Ebay trying to find some...but only ever found any as part of University collections here and there. Great Aunt Charlotte also went to Paris in the twenties to the Sorbonne, and became an artist. I have one of her paintings.

And I know a tiny bit of lore about 3 or 4 generations ago on my Dad's side from my dear departed Aunt Connie. She's told me all these wild stories about a man (great great grandfather?) who started out in life as an architect, but then owned a hat factory in New England. And another story about another man (great great great grandfather??) who was on a steamship in which the boiler exploded, as often happened on steamers, and who survived because when he was thrown in the explosion, he landed on a big piece of wooden debris, into which his choppers sank, saving him while unconscious for some period of time. She was known, a bit, to embellish and aggrandize, I wonder if those 2 stories are really true? She told me so many more, but now I can only remember these 2.

Well, I'll let you all know in a few weeks what happens with this DNA thing. Just did the online transaction and bought the kit. Click on the title of this post to link to the NGGP and see for yourself.

4 comments:

Bernice L. McFadden said...

I ordered my kit a few weeks ago and have been following my results online. Its all very exciting! My family history blog is available for view at: www.firstborngirl.blogspot.com

Sam said...

Hi Bernice, thanks for your comment. What interesting stories you have at your blog. Staying tuned...

tricky said...

This is fun! I can't wait for the results...

Catholicgauze said...

I just got my results back and blogged about it. I hope you enjoy it too!

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