Ancestry Road

A family tree tells a lot about you in many ways. What you once thought was true suddenly goes out the window as the whole puzzle comes together.

Last night I decided, out of sheer curiosity, to look up the origin of my last name, because there is still so much mystery I have yet to uncover. My digging for answers eventually led me to Ancestry.com, where I began constructing my whole family tree, going back to my long ago ancestors in Ireland. The entire lineage of just my father’s side of the family creates some interesting theories: am I directly related to other people with different last names than me, that aren’t exactly apart of my family bloodline? The “treasure” I am ultimately trying to find is the point where my immediate family begins, where the usage of the last name ultimately started. I also wanted to know if I in any way had any trace of royal blood in me, if any of my relatives were descended from the royal kingdom. Probably not, but still worth a try.

Image result for family tree

My mom’s side of the family seems to go way back to a long lineage of Dakins, Brooks, and Wheelers that originated from England, first immigrating to New York and Massachusetts. Then they started moving west and eventually settled in Michigan. The Draffens, however, settled down in the southern states of Kentucky and Tennessee, with some moving to Michigan to find jobs perhaps.

My dad’s side of the family includes the Hammells, Chisholms, O’Hearns, and Meehans.I have been able to go back as far as my 3rd great-grandfather with the name Hammell, while I am still going strong on finding the oldest great-grandparent in my family history, now down to the 11th level and traveling back to my ancestors homelands in England, Germany, Scotland, and Ireland.

Stitching the Threads of Time

Old Scotland, my ancestral roots

“So ya didn’t win the Powerball, my son, whatever that hell that is?”

“Nope. It’s nearing a billion dollars now in cash value. Imagine when someone wins that…”

“One billion dollars? Golly. Back in my day, we’d have to harvest much, much wheat to get that rich.”

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

That we don’t usually eat at the dinner table, but just around the house, on the couch, in front of the TV?

On most nights, it is not a complex meal but something really simple like hotdogs, hamburgers, or spaghetti?

That the only time the house is thoroughly cleaned is when people are coming over?

Still, having my fifth great grandfather William (or whomever it is) over for dinner would be quite an experience. It would be like looking into a history book or seeing an ancestry website come to life. He wouldn’t be black and white or faded like in pictures but would look like a regular person, like any of us today.

I believe this ancestor, which would be from Scotland, Ireland, or England, if I am correct, would be surprised at all the new technology that is available. Wireless internet, television, Blu-ray player, YouTube, blogs? The best thing he probably had hundreds of years ago was quill and parchment and a mule plow on the farm.

I’ve always been interested in my who my late ancestors were and how much they might resemble me after so many years. All humans come from one ancestral line, usually pointing to somewhere in Africa, and split off into different groups at one time in history. Last names were not officially adopted until long after the invention of writing and record keeping. There’s no telling if people with the same last name as me, or variations of it, are related to me somehow, because names are changed all the time and there weren’t any official records back then to prove anything.

Maybe William the Great can spin me a tale from the Old World? And I could spin him a tale from the Modern World? It would make for a great book, I’d say. Maybe I can show him how to play Garry’s Mod, a game I just downloaded today?