We Are America: Celebrating the Diversity of Our Family Tree

Sometimes, I think that it might be nice to have deep roots in a specific country’s heritage.  An Italian grandfather.  A German grandmother.  Someone who could pass down all of the traditions and treats of their country.  Who could sing you lullabies in a foreign tongue.

I don’t have that though.  The latest my family came into the U.S. was the 1910s.  My maternal grandmother’s parents immigrated from Sweden not long before she was born in Washington state.  She grew up in the Swedish community of Ballard, in Seattle.  She didn’t speak the language though and didn’t pass down many Swedish traditions into our family.  Her parents died long before I was born, so I didn’t have that connection.  The closest connection to the “old country” I would have to say was her older sister Elvy.

But my Swedish heritage is not what I’m talking about today.  Today, I wanted to celebrate the fact that I have such a diverse family to research, especially if I add in my husband’s side – which I am also actively working on.

My children have ancestors that:

  • Immigrated from Sweden to WA in the 1910s
  • Left Norway for Minnesota in the 1880s
  • Served in the Revolutionary War
  • Served on both sides of the Civil War
  • Were slaveowners and others that were abolitionists
  • Left Germany following the Revolution in 1848
  • Immigrated from Ireland in the 1840-50s
  • Were glassblowers, farmers, ministers, railroad workers, day laborers, soldiers, printers, barbers, and more.
  • Settled in Kansas Territory as soon as it opened up
  • Immigrated from England, through Canada.
  • Were Quakers, Irish Catholics, Methodists, French Huguenots, Mormons, Lutherans and more.
  • Earned a purple heart in World War II after being hit by a kamikaze
  • Served in the First Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania
  • Traveled along the Mormon Trail
  • Were illegitimate
  • Traveled West
  • Were Dutch settlers to the New World from probably the late 1600s
  • Immigrated from Spain to Germany in the early 1800s and then on to Iowa in 1850
  • Served in France during WWI
  • were illiterate and others that were well-educated

They say that America is a great melting pot and my family is definitely proof of that – as are most American families.

It just amazes me to look at how many different types of people, from such diverse backgrounds went into “making” a little piece of my children. 🙂

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