It's beyond shocking when the people you studied
in junior high turn out to be your ancestors
Genealogy was like astrology for me. As an adopted child, without knowing my biological parents names, and the name I was originally given, and my actual birth time, two sources of knowing more about myself were denied to me. This is a startlingly common plight for adopted kids.
Due to sealed records and fearful adoptive parents, some of us grow up with a perpetual, vague sense that something important about us is missing, as if we aren't good enough to know the full truths about our origins that everyone else knows about themselves.
The discoveries provided by researching your roots can not only fill in some crucial blanks, but also leave you amazed at the strengths of your ancestors, and what being in their bloodline has given you.
Here's just some of what I've learned about where and who I come from.
English and Scottish Immigrants
Nearly all of my ancestors who lived and died before the North American colonial period were English, with a few Scotsmen thrown in for good measure.
For example: In about 1570 Scotland, a girl named Elizabeth was born to a relatively young (17 -22 years depending on which records are correct) noblewoman, Margaret Stewart, and a much older (54 years) father, John Knox. Elizabeth married John Welch, and their grandson John Welch emigrated to Anne Arundel, Maryland Colony in 1668. The Welch line stayed in Maryland until William Cross moved the family to Tennessee in the mid-1800s. His great grandson William Franklin Cross moved the family to Texas, where my grandfather and mother were born.
On her father's side, baby Elizabeth's heritage includes William Sinclair II, a Templar Knight. William II's grandfather was, if history is true, Baron of Roslin, and William is said to have built or begun the famed Rosslyn chapel.
On her mother's side Elizabeth was descended from the House of Stewart, and possibly the house of Bruis (aka, Bruce) itself. I'm still tracing the links on this side.
If you know any history of the British Isles or of the Protestant Reformation, the names of Stewart and Knox may further raise eyebrows. They did for me when they showed up in my family tree.
Stewart of course is name with a long royal and aristocratic history in Scotland, and many entanglements with both the Scottish and English thrones.
And John Knox is held in history as the founder of the Presbyterian denomination, which came out of the Protestant Reformation.
More to say on all this coming up. Stay tuned.