shaking the limbs of the family tree

One of my interests is genealogy. I am amazed with where I came from, how my ancestors lived, why they came to the island, etc.

For the past few years, I have been actively following my family history, and with that, I have gathered a mountain of information on both Acadian and Cajun heritage, mainly due to the fact that is the same heritage. I have traced my family’s roots right on back to 1650, where they were the first European settlers to live in what is now Atlantic Canada. I read how they battled Indians (and later married them), how many of the early settlers lost their lives battling for a place to live, and finally how expulsion drove them from the lands they lived on, and onto strange and alien soil of Louisiana, Newfoundland, and England. A great story that I plan to write someday.

Now that I know my heritage, my fiance is curious to where she came from, so that is my new past time. Thus far I have discovered that her family originated when two sailors jumped ship from an English vessel and settled in an area called ‘Channel’, which translates to ‘two white men surrounded by Indians’.  This should prove an interesting story for sure.

It is easy for us to take for granted our very well being, and everything we have bought, inherited, or found; but it is something else entirely when we look back at the people responsible for getting us to the land we call home, and the hardships and battles they must have endeavored to survive.

In searching your family tree, be warned: shaking the limbs may reveal something you are not expecting. When I researched my mom’s family history, I found that her ancestory came from two rum runners who smuggled illegal whiskey from the french islands to Newfoundland. I also found that her great uncle, whom of which was rumored to be lost at sea, actually wound up living in Massachusetts and raising a family there.

I was on a Yahoo chat line once (when Yahoo was the thing to do) and I happened along one Tracy Blanchard, from Boston. Upon seeing that her surname was that of my mom’s maiden name, I had to ask her about her family. Turns out that her brother was doing similar research, and once he got to his great grandfather’s history, his research came to a standstill. It appeared that this man came from nowhere. No birth records (in the U.S.), no record of a mother or a father, although there have been references made to brothers and sisters but strangely enough, they were rumored to have been living in Eastern Canada.

You guessed it, their grandfather was none other than my mom’s great uncle, who was supposed to have lost his life at sea while rum running along the Eastern Seaboard. One can only wonder what happened for him to leave his wife and family and somehow end up in the U.S. Great story, waiting to be told.

There is, without a doubt a story waiting to be written about my family, and maybe even your family.


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