Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Deep Roots

Does anyone remember Alex Haley's Roots? I read the book when I was a teenager. When the movie came out, my family was right there in front of the television set from beginning to end. It was a very emotional thing for us. Years later, I tried to trace my ancestry and only got a few generations back before I hit a slavery wall. Once I ran out of census records, I ran right into slave records that were murky and random. I got further than I expected because I had some older relatives who had oral genealogies to share.

I have carried around with me the notes and "trees" I started. Every now and then I pull them out just to refresh my fading memory. A few months ago, a young nephew asked me to send what I had collected. That's when I realized that I have all that information still packed away somewhere from my last move. Frustrating. This is part of why I started doing the "Griot" posts (which I have slacked on lately... But here's one and the other that I did.)

Today, I spent a little time online halfheartedly looking at different ancestry sites. In the process (and this is maybe because I have been doing Bible study with an Orthodox Jewish Bible) I wondered just how far back anyone has managed to trace their roots. Mormons are wonderful about keeping genealogical records, but it was the Jewish people I was curious about.

Like most people who have read the Bible all the way through, every time I do it, I speed-read through the genealogies. I used to think of them as the "dratted begatteds" (only because they seem tedious to read through). Today, though, I suddenly found it all very interesting.

Did you know that there are people who have traced their families all the way back to King David? That's just insanely amazing to me. I worked over a year during my spare time just to get back to my maternal grandmother's father!


She died just months after I was born so all I have for memories is that one photo. Beautiful woman with a shadowed past. Something about her parents not being happy with her choice of a spouse. Thanks to the disagreement, she never talked about the parents to her own children. My mother never met her grandparents and I now have very little information about them. Yeah.

Anyway, when I found out about those people tracing their bloodline back as far as King David I was stunned. Then I read this about people who can (kinda, sorta) trace their line all the way back to Adam. Yes, that Adam. Garden-of-Eden Adam. Eve's husband. 

Mind. Completely. Blown.

By the way, there is a possibility that proving Davidic roots may entitle people to ownership of some seriously prime real estate. Seriously prime.

As for me and my house (see what I did there?) all I ever wanted was trace my roots back to before they got planted in Louisiana, Texas, and
Arkansas. Even for the relatives I did manage to trace, there are gaps from when they moved around during a census year. I think I might have to figure out a way to get an membership back into my budget. Back in the day, the price was reasonable, but those people have lost their minds with the high prices now. Yikes. To be honest, Ancestry only made things slightly easier for me. So maybe I will just have to do some digging on my own. I better get to it.