Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Note About Genealogy

I decided to do research on my grandfather because my mom never talked about him and we know very little. I know that he was 52 years old when he died from a heart attack. I know that he worked as an engineer for Southern Pacific and earned a good living during the depression.

After a lot of research, I now know that he was married before and after he married my grandmother and that he had kids from each marriage. His first-born son just passed away 3 years ago at the age of 86.

I also learned that my grandmother had been married once before she married my grandfather. Her husband's name was Hubert and he was from Tennessee.

But there was an even bigger stunner: The descendents on my mother's side appear to have been Jewish. This will take further research and confirmation - it's easy to go down the wrong path.

Frankly, I find this new fact to be very cool. I have always held an innate affinity for my Jewish friends...and somehow this news doesn't surprise me. Of course, I'm going solely off the last names of my relatives, i.e. Levan, Siegfried, etc.

I can't help but think about the fact that the bloodline stops with me. We'll be adopting, yes, but the blood genealogy won't carry forward. In a way, this makes me sad. However, I have a firm grasp on the genetic issues in my family that also won't be passed along. Diabetes, autoimmune disorders, depression, alcoholism, and unconfirmed bipolar disorder.

I wish I knew more about my grandad, and I want to confirm the circumstances around his death. It wouldn't be much of a stretch for my mother's family to fabricate a story. They had a tendancy to alter the truth.