Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Looking into the past

My grandfather in 1944 with his sons, and his daughter, my mother, standing behind him.

My grandfather today, with his daughter (my mother), his grandson, (my brother) and his great-grand daughter. (my niece)

History has always fascinated me. (Even though I can never keep dates straight...) And my aunt gave me a wonderful present a few years ago - a geneology record of our family. On one side, we can go back eight generations (to me it seems enormous, especially for a family of immigrants!) I know some families trace their lineage back -waaaaayyyy back to the Middle Ages (I think that is sort of a cut-off point - before then, records are hard to come by.) And we know, that ultimately, we all decended from a sort of "Eve" who lived in the region of today's Ethiopia and who founded the line of mankind. So we all have that common ancestor, and genetic studies prove it. The new DNA tracing that they can do sounds like fun (though a bit expensive), but through them you can trace your genetic lineage through your mother's side and find out which famous (or infamous) person you are related to!

Anyhow, I was just posting this as a tribute to my great, great, great, great grandmother Harriet Harte, born in 1790 in Union Grove, NY, and, on the other side of my mother's family tree, Josephine Betrus Elhage b. 18?? Baatouta, Turkey>Syria>Lebanon. It's funny to wonder how two such different families from different sides of the world came together when, three generations ago, my grandfather, a tall, dark and handsome Lebanese man, fell in love with my green-eyed grandmother, whose family fought on both sides of the US Civil war.


Sam said...

I hope everyone can see the pictures now - the blog has been acting up and I'm having a hard time getting the pictures to show up! If anyone knows why, let me know!

Bernita said...

Oh lovely! I can see them now.
A handsome family, Sam!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm afraid I still can't see 'em. Not sure what the problem is.

Gabriele C. said...

Not to mention Josephine Bertus Elhage sounds as German as they come, which makes me wonder how she ended up in some Syrian/Lebanes bordertown.

Rosie said...

Love the photos. I'm so interested in my own family history. When I did the heritage scrapbooks in December 2006 I learned so much. Just follow the birth and marriage certificates. It's unreal. The U.S. has a treasure trove in the the Census records too. That was so cool to see my "greats" listed with their families at their various residences.

Thanks for sharing this Sam. Very interesting.

Sam said...

Thanks Bernita!

Charles - I'm sorry! I wish I knew what the problem was. :-(

Gabriele - LOL! Lebanon at that time was still part of the Ottoman empire, wasn't it? Could that be why?

Rosie - I would love to see your scrap books. They must be beautiful. Maybe someday I'll get around to doing one for my family.

John Nez said...

And what's really amazing about genealogy these days is that so much of it is online and computerized.

My wife looked up one of her relatives from the 1700's and it only took two minutes to locate the correct file, which was a photograph of an original census report.

My family all disappears into the murk of the 1920's... never to reappear. Family history is an interesting pursuit though.

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