Honoring Passover and Easter

How is this night different from all other nights?  One of the four questions of the Passover Seder …. While I’m not Jewish, I am reflecting on this weekend beginning with Passover tonight and its story, and what I have learned about the Seder from dear friends who have shared some of the traditions and foods of this important event.  As a genealogist, I’m recognizing that in the long history of my ancestors over thousands of years, I have Jewish ancestors.  My AncestryDNA results also indicate that I have Ashkenazi Jewish heritage – a low percentage (<5%) indicating a distant connection – but nonetheless, it doesn’t surprise me as early Christians were Jewish.  And, because of my Eastern European DNA, it is likely that it comes from there.

So I’m celebrating the beginning of an ancient commemoration.

Earlier this month, we celebrated the spring Equinox, honoring our relationship to the Earth, the changing of seasons and our Native heritage, family and friends.  AND I will be celebrating Easter in my faith community and with mom on Sunday.  

Whatever your beliefs, faith tradition or thoughts about all things spiritual or religious, wishing you the beauty and freshness of the spring growth, earth awakening and return of green grass, baseball and flowers.  May you have love, peace and beauty in your life!

Wow, what a morning of powerful speaking, music

An exciting morning program here at RootsTech 2018 helped to wake me up – my energy is beginning to fade!!  NATALIA LAFOURCADE!!!!

Yes, I know it’s not the best picture but Natalia Lafourcade (Mexican pop-rock singer/songwriter) sang the song from Coco that had us all in tears – and FamilySearch did research about her to share.  She found out for the first time that she is descended from a French man who came to Chile, eventually Mexico and Natalie was born there.  Natalie has many musicians in her ancestry too.  Her talent/her voice is amazing!!!  Wish I’d gotten a better picture of her but this picture is when she found out about her ancestry….so cool!

 

How so very cool that Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. came to speak at the conference!  He has been such a pioneer in developing the relationship between genealogy and genetics!  He shared about some of the miracles that have happened even as recently as yesterday at the Family History Library!

We got to see the trailer/teaser for the next ( coming this fall!) season of “Finding Your Roots” – looks incredible.  LOVE the show and it teaches me about records that are available to all of us AND the DNA evidence that can help us fill in our tree too.

All in all, it’s been a really marvelous conference!  I’ve enjoyed the networking, learning and the opportunities to connect with people who “get” what I love to do – genealogy!!!

Your Ancestry May Not Be What You Think!

Source: Advice to White Supremacists: You Might Not Want to Test Your DNA

Thank you, Dick Eastman!

I was thinking, praying about these recent events and remembering some key times as a genealogist in California. I volunteered in a Family History Center as I could translate French and German and the Mormon volunteers had asked me to help out once per week.

As my contact with customers, through Lineage Journeys, evolved over the weeks and months of volunteering, we began to have a fairly steady flow of people from a particular area of town. Known to be descendants of those who migrated to California during the Dust Bowl era, they were descended from people primarily from Oklahoma, Missouri and a few from northern Texas. They came in, as one of them told me, “to document our superior family” …. hmmmm, “superior” equated to “white” and their conversation indicated that they were affiliated in some way with white/neo-nazi groups that I knewto be in the area.

It didn’t take long (perhaps three generations of ancestors) to find census records that indicated “mulatto” – the term used for mixed race individuals on the old census records. Explaining that to these research customers became my personal, silent joy as their visions of superiority were revealed for the arrogant falsehood that they were. Many of them stated variations of “the records were manipulated” or “the census taker lied” or any number of other ways to avoid the obvious.

The fact that “race” isn’t a scientific or biological fact anyway would have been lost on these families, and my personal and professional research experiences had long before shown me that our families migrated, lived in many communities, searched for jobs and good work, and married across religious and ethnic lines for centuries. No surprise here that some “white” people had relationships in the past that weren’t with those of European origin.