Yesterday was homework day. It was a free day and I had my guy home for most of the day. I dove into my research again for my family literacy class. I still have to hone into a research topic and I have a few floating in my head. I am not ready to reveal them yet but I am getting mildly stoked for the things running through my brain. They will just take a little more time to see if I can even possibly find them. From 8 in the morning until I went to bed last night I researched. I was on numerous genealogical web sites and finding sources for all of my information. The goal was never to follow my family line till it began but I believe I am about there on a few branches. Some of the research that I have done though will prove so valuable to my family so I have followed the trail.
You know there is something here I obviously want to say right? Remember my post about this poor Appalachian family? This same family are descendants to many royal family members or people on royal courts. The first is King John Lackland of England. Doesn’t mean much no? He is a descendant of the revered and known Cornwall family. He would be my 23rd great grandfather. Further down the line there is relation to William the Conquer. However, when googled I found out that most people are some how related to William the Conquer so I didn’t get too excited about that. Then the line ended up at, Charlemagne the Roman Emperor, making him my 41st great grandfather. An offshoot branch of this family line is also related to French Royalty but the name escapes me now. However, it is not that shocking giving the royal line in general. I believe I could prove a little in breeding.
While I can prove most of what I found some parts I cannot so I am not going to go claim my inheritance just yet. What I do find is I was extremely connected and wanting a closeness with my more immediate family. The ones I can barely places faces on but I know enough to remember stories and names. Once it started getting into England it was cool but it felt unreal to me. It is more fodder than exploring deep rich heritage that I feel like I can do if I just look in the connections closest to me.
Here is the thing all but one line revealed itself to me. Unfortunately, that is the one I want to discover. There is part of my family tree that is smothered in stories, mythical stories and secrecy. I am not sure there is some deep dark secret or anything. I am thinking it is more this idea of shame because they weren’t original to America. I believe when they came to America they were lead to think and believe that their own heritage needed to be dropped. In the pasted when I have tried to ask questions of my grandparents and parents it was met with weirdness. There were always stories that sometimes seemed so far out that you wanted to believe them but also so far out that you had to wonder if they were true. The part that makes it hard is names were changed I believe to be more American so finding records is harder. As well, generation after generation recycled names so dates are super important.
I find myself wanting to tell their story and wanting to tell it as honestly as I can but I will be honest. I am scared to ask more questions. I don’t want to make the people I love uncomfortable. They are doubtful of my outcome and not trustworthy of people digging up the past. However, I believe that may be part of the story, right? Where does this mistrust and guarding of the information come from? I know the stories are rich and I know it would mean a lot to my generation of siblings and cousins to get to the true stories. However, the generations before have worked hard to keep it a mystery.
All my life when dealing with this line of the family I feel like I perpetuated the stories or even embellished them to make them my own. But who knows? Maybe I am simply carrying on the tradition and culture of secrets and embellishments I have been taught. Now you can see why I want this line to be reachable. I have weigh the risk with the reward.
I made no secret to anyone in my family long before this class existed that I needed to do this type of research because I plan to claim my Appalachian heritage for a few research reasons. I made it clear I had to know the truth to be in a better place of writing about what my family has overcome. I won’t lie though because of the secrecy it is a little nerve wrecking. Maybe all the stories are true? Who knows? I want to know.
While it is cool to look up at those pictures, crest and think wow! The real story lies a little closer I just have to decide if I can even get passed that wall.