Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Posted by marie on 3/02/03 at 09:31 (111359)

I am no geneologist but I find it interesting that here in the U.S.A. and throughout N. and S. America the influences we each bring culturally through our ancestors. After my visit to Japan as a educational ambassador my eyes were opened as to how incredibly different we are in every way from the culture of the Japanese people. If you would like to share the country of origin of your ancestors and maybe some family tradition that is unique to thae culture of that country please jump in and share.

My mother's side of the family is mostly Irish. My ancestors were kicked out of Ireland by order of the King of England sometime around 1654. Their last name was 'Enis'. They were sold into slavery (bond slaves)and sent to this country. Most family traditions have been lost because of the amount of time that has gone by and severe poverty. I Have two great grandmothers that were Cherokee Indian. My mother was a dark haired green eyed beauty who had the best genes of all her ancestors.

My father's side of the family is mostly of German decent. My grandmother was born in the Austrian Hungarian Empire....just a few miles from where the stelth bomber went down in Serbia. She arrived at Ellis Island when she was 12 years old. I believe this was in 1912. She brought with her a wealth of culture. 'Kuchen', a type of pastry, was what she was best known for. The recipe for this pastry has been enjoyed by 3 generations in this country.

I'd love to hear about some of your favorite family traditions.

marie

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

john h on 3/02/03 at 10:26 (111369)

Marie: I grew up in Western North Carolina in Cherokee County near the Cherokee Indian Reservtion. If one would look at my father and his sister you would definitely think there was some Cherokee blood in them. In the early part of this century and on into the 50's Indians were thought of very poorly especially in Western North Carolina so if one was part Indian they wouuld hide it.. I have often asked some of my realatives if they know our family history and never get any straight answers. In recent years when having a physical I always show up with a high content of billyrubin in my blood. the doctor always says forget it. last year when it was high as usual I asked him what could cause this. he thought a moment and said 'well if you were an Indian or of Indian descent this is a common factor'. that could have floored me. i told him my story and now feel confident that somewhere in my fathers lineage is some Indian ancestory.

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

marie on 3/02/03 at 10:45 (111377)

John,my mother also hid her family history. She grew up in Alabama. We also have family in North Carolina. For most of my life I thought she was English. That's what she told me. The Irish and Native Americans were very poorly thought of. I was an adult before the truth came out. My ancestors were owned by Englishmen. If she had been forthcoming I suppose I could have gone to college for free. It's not entirely her fault she grew up in an orphanage and had little contact with much of her family. It was always kind of a sore subject. I would like to find out more about my Cherokee grandmothers but it isn't easy to trace because 1. they're women and 2. they were Indians and records were not kept.

marie

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/02/03 at 11:37 (111391)

Marie:

I am quite a mixture but the largest two by percentage is Czech and German. The Czech's have had quite the experience with the Soviet's and, you can probably guess, much of my anti-Communist sentiment is derived from interactions with the Czech side of the family.
Ed

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/02/03 at 11:44 (111396)

One of these days, I would love to write a book based on interviews with some of those relatives. I am sad that many are elderly and have passed away and I don't have the time to do it. Once I am retired and have the time, few, if any will be left to interview.

Here is a tidbit:

The Cossacks were the Soviet rough riders. They were hard fighters but often technologically backward, coming from outlying areas in the Soviet Union. One walked into a watchmaker in Mucacevo (a small town in Carpathia, now absorbed by the Ukraine but formerly part of Czechoslovakia) with a broken clock. He asked the watchmaker to make him a watch out of the clock and the watchmaker could keep the remaining parts as payment.
Ed

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

john h on 3/02/03 at 11:49 (111399)

Marie: About every decade Cherokee County, N.C. publishes an updated history of Cherokee County. It is a very large book with picutes. We had an Indian working around our home. He would take me into the hills and find arrow heads and all sorts of good stff. He could barely speak any English and must have been in his late 60's or 70's. It was llegeal to sell acholol to Indians when I was a child. Still do not know what that was about. Our school played the Indian Reservation in football each year and of course their team was all Indians. My grandmother was born in a little town nearby where I lived (Murphy) with the colorful name of Hanging Dog. It got it's name from a time when the Indians woud hang someone's dog in their yard if they were having problems. I suspect the Cherokee Reservation must have some historical records. It is located high in the smoky mountains and it is really a senic drive and view. I have a long time friend who is 1/4 Cherokee. In her late 20's I could hardly tell she was part Indian but by the time she was 40 there was no doubt she was an Indian. She attended Wichita State under a full scholorship and later told me there was an enormous package of benefits if one wanted to apply for them. Cannot remember the fraction of Indian blood you had to have to qualify. Still the American Indians are in sad shape both economically and culturally. You wonder where all the casino money goes?. I am sure you have read 'A Trail of Tears'.

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

marie on 3/02/03 at 12:00 (111403)

Ed,I hope you can find the time to get some of the information about your family. Your children and their children will all benefit. I love the watchmaker story. I am of Saxon and Bravarion decent.

My parents went to the Munich olympics. My grandmother gave my father a list of relatives she wanted him to call. Unfortunately all of the relatives were behind the Iron Curtain. My father didn't have the heart to tell her so he told her that he'd tried to call them but no one was at home. Before I found out my feet were going to be a permanent problem I was planning a trip to Serbia to find some of the relatives and photograph her birthplace. My hubby freaked...didn't want me to go to dangerous. The trip was meant to retrace my grandmother's journey to this country...ending in Ellis Island. Maybe some day I will be able to do this. Mabie some day that part of the world will be a safer place.

marie

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

marie on 3/02/03 at 12:32 (111415)

I haven't been to the Cherokee Reservation in years. Unfortunately many of the Indians had drinking problems often spending what little government money they got on alcohol. It's still a problem.

We were in NM a few years ago near the Jemez Indian Reservation. The closest town was very small. The largest business was a liqour store. On Friday night pick up trucks full of men came to town. They bought cheap wine and whiskey and drank until Sunday. Then everyone loaded up or was loaded up in the pick up trucks and went back to the reservation. So it must be legal to sell alcohol to Indians.

I read 'Trail of Tears' when I was in college...a long, long, time ago.

My favorite book was 'The Hopi Way'.

Yes it is sad that our most valued Native Americans have had such a hard time.

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Suzanne D on 3/02/03 at 12:39 (111418)

Friday at school we had an assembly program presented by a group of Native Americans. A little girl in another classroom is part Indian and asked if her parents could come to share some of their customs. A group of dancers came in their regalia. Some nice displays were set up in the library windows, including a caribou hide, tomahawk, and spear. The children were impressed, and it was interesting to me as well.

Most who came wore traditional outfits for dancing. One man who operated the sound system, however, had on jeans and a tee shirt. The shirt had a cowboy hat in the center with an arrow through the middle of it. It also had the words 'My heroes have always killed cowboys'. I couldn't help but hope my children didn't notice that! No one said anything, and I think they were so enthralled with the bright colors of their outfits that they didn't notice him. I think it was a play on the old song that has the lyrics 'My heroes have always been cowboys', but I still didn't really want to discuss all that when we got back to the classroom!

Suzanne :-)

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

marie on 3/02/03 at 12:45 (111420)

I understand that completely. My family also had a very strong sentiment about communism.....mostly because of my Hungarian family members. My sister and I use to play a game when we were little called 'the Germans are Coming' (meaning the 'Nazis'are coming). We would hide under our beds with our dolls and pretend the Germans were searching our house to take us away. Seems silly now since my father is mostly German. My father accused everyone of being a communist, including Martin Luther King. If he didn't like their politics surely they were some how linked to communism. Oh my have we had some heated debates. I thought he'd croke at the thought of me going to Japan. Another hot topic since he was a WWII vet. Aside from that the trip was paid for Toyota....my dad was a Ford exec. But to my surprise he was delighted...said it was about time we made our peace with that country and he was so proud that I was going. That was the last time I spoke to my father. He passed away Sept. 9 2001. His funertal was on Sept. 11, 2001. A day we will all remember.

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

wendyn on 3/02/03 at 18:09 (111480)

My mom's parents were from Czechoslovakia, my dad is a real mix of everything - some ancestors from Scotland, one from Russia, Native indian in there somewhere (few generations back) - and I don't know what else!!!

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Necee on 3/03/03 at 00:40 (111544)

Interesting question Marie.

My grandmother was Cherokee indian. She came from Alabama when she was a little girl. When I was little, she use to braid my long hair, everyone said I looked just like an indian when I'd go to school like that. I've got long brown hair, and green eyes, guess I can thank my dad for the green eyes, he was Irish.

You mentioned Kuchen, that is my favorite! Apple Kuchen is wonderful, to me it's more like a strudel than a pastry. If anyone wants to try it, I'd be more than happy to share the recipe, it's quick and easy to make.

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/03/03 at 06:15 (111551)

My ancestors aren't from anyplace very exciting, which is why I haven't posted.

On my father's side, I'm Scottish and English (and my family's name is one of those Mc names). Before his death my father found the Scottish castle of our ancestors and sent me a photo. It looks more like a run-down stone house than a castle. Oh well. LOL At least it overlooks one of the lochs where my ancestors used to fish; they were mostly fishermen apparently. They and others sailed to America in the late 1600's on a very tiny little boat. Most of those on the boat died of measles on the way, but a handful survived the journey and I'm descendant from them.

On my mother's side, I'm English and probably Irish (my maternal grandmother was adopted and her ancestry is unknown, but when young she had spectacularly beautiful knee length red hair and ice-blue eyes with a very light complexion, so that's why I say probably Irish; her adoptive parents were Dutch).

Like many Americans, we have unproven rumors of some Indian blood in the family tree (Blackfoot, in my case). My father, who did the geneology, always emphatically denied that rumor but it keeps popping up. I like to think I'm part Indian because at least it would be something interesting and mysterious. :)

Carole C

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

R C on 3/03/03 at 10:29 (111576)

Made in Taiwan!! But going back further, my parents were born on mainland China. My parents' families escaped the Communists when they took over the mainland. My paternal grandfather was a general in Chiang Kai-Shek's army, and fought both the Communists and the Japanese during WWII. His father was a high-ranking minister in Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's government (i.e., the first republic), as well as a professor of mathematics and literature. My ancestors along that line included many warriors and scholars; on my mother's side they were tradesmen along the southeast ports. There was considerable wealth at one time -- every last bit of it was snatched away by Communists. My siblings and most of the closest cousins are in the U.S. or Canada. Most are successful business persons. There are two research scientists and three architects. (Still no lawyer or doctor among us!?) My brother's wife is a famous singer, but I won't say who.

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/03/03 at 10:40 (111582)

Scotland. If you like, Ill pait my face blue and you can call me Braveheart, C.Ped. FFFRRREEEEEDDDDDOOOMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Richard

Re: Oh, Come on now RC!

Necee on 3/03/03 at 14:23 (111613)

Your sister-in-law is a famous singer, and you won't tell us who!!!! Come on now, you should know that secrets aren't allowed here.
If you tell us who she is, then I'll tell you about my 'very famous' secret.

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/03/03 at 16:44 (111634)

Well, I hope your Scottish ancestors had a nicer castle than mine! Mind must have had 'the castle on the wrong side of the tracks'. It's no bigger than a house and it's in ruins with weeds growing in it, in the photo that I saw. LOL

Carole C

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

marie on 3/03/03 at 16:45 (111635)

Necee, Do you know what part of Alabama? It's interesting that John, you and myself have some Cherokee ancestors. A recipe for apple kuchen.....yes, please post it! My grandmother's recipes are for poppy seed, nut, and apple. My grandmother's are not so quick....very old world. I remember when we use to go to the German market in downtown Cleveland. My Grandma would buy fresh poppy seed...she grew poppys in her garden until it became illegal...the heroin thing. Now you can only buy it in the can.

marie

Re: Now we have a mystery to unravel

marie on 3/03/03 at 16:54 (111637)

RC,
You know I'm going to have to research this one. A famous singing sister-in-law. Hmmmmm you say two siblings are research scientists and three are architects. OK you're on.

marie

Re: Now we have a mystery to unravel

john h on 3/03/03 at 17:10 (111640)

Naomi Judd?

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

BGCPed on 3/03/03 at 17:41 (111646)

Scotland here also and Ireland 1/2 and 1/2 Scot side is from Greenock, still have a bunch of relatives there. Richard if you remember in either Braveheart or Rob Roy there was a Marquis named James Graham. When one character was riding through the woods running from another robber he came to a fork in the road. One way was to Greenock.

Have a relative that one a golf club championship. They had a cup that would sit in the showcase all year and the winner would get his name added to it. He won and didnt want to wait a week till the awards night. After a few snorts of scotch he broke the glass and took 'his' trophy out, filled it with scotch and passed it around the club.

When my father was on a ship at the age of 3 he was actually walking on the railing like he saw in the circus. One of the crew had to sneak up behind and grab him. If he slipped I wouldnt be here right now

My Grandmother was a missionary and took books etc. to Africa. Thats about it

Re: Now we have a mystery to unravel

R C on 3/03/03 at 18:27 (111654)

You won't be able to guess (my famous sister-in-law's identity), but she is not particularly famous in the U.S., except in New York and San Francisco. She is a household name, however, where she was born (at least among the boomers).

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Bev N on 3/03/03 at 18:29 (111655)

My brother-in-law is from Huntsville , Alabama and has cherokee in his back ground too.

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/03/03 at 18:32 (111656)

Although I've never been there, I have heard that Huntsville is a wonderful place to live. Lots of very educated and interesting people, a low cost of living, and a warm climate.

Carole C

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Bev N on 3/03/03 at 18:43 (111660)

We lived there for a while after college, but hubby got home sick (he had a very large extended close family) so we moved back to frostbitten Michigan. We go visit them every year and I really like it there. I love her place, so relaxing by the pool and WARM :o) .

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/03/03 at 19:20 (111664)

A friend of mine is thinking of retiring in Huntsville in a decade or two. She wants to stay someplace warm and southern, but to be a little further away from hurricanes than we are here. She has been telling me how wonderful she thinks it is, and it really DOES sound nice.

There's something to be said for being around a large extended close family, too! At least I would imagine that it might be nice. My closest relative is over 1000 miles away, but none of them live in the same state as any of their relatives.

Carole C

Re: Now we have a mystery to unravel

Necee on 3/03/03 at 19:23 (111665)

Guess we'll have to put our California friends on this one.

Happy trails...

Necee

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/04/03 at 08:08 (111687)

Brian and I might be related. Richard Graham...Brian Graham. My long lost 'older' brother. haha
Richard

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/04/03 at 08:10 (111688)

I don't think my ancestors had a castle. If they did, someone needs to give me my share. haha
Richard

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/03 at 08:21 (111692)

I looked online after reading this, and your castle is in worse condition than my family's castle if this website is right:

http://www.clan-graham-association.org.uk/pages/castle1.htm

Oh well. So much for dreams of wealth and grandeur! Guess we will both have to keep our jobs for now.

Carole C

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Richard, C.Ped on 3/04/03 at 10:14 (111722)

yikes. ill just keep my little modest house for now.
Richard

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Bev N on 3/04/03 at 10:53 (111730)

Looks a little cold and drafty.

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

Carole C in NOLA on 3/04/03 at 11:03 (111731)

Yes, at least I have a roof over my head now! Like I said, my family's castle is in about the same shape as yours, maybe with a few more walls but just as small, overgrown with weeds, and not inhabitable.

No wonder my ancestors left Scotland. LOL

Carole C

Re: Now we have a mystery to unravel

BrianG on 3/05/03 at 15:03 (111905)

OK RC, since you brought it up, I think you should at least tell us where she was born, deal! :*)

BrianG

Re: Now we have a mystery to unravel

R C on 3/05/03 at 22:44 (111965)

She was also born in Taiwan.

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

peter f on 3/09/03 at 05:30 (112322)

John-thats Gilberts syndrome (you probably know that already) perfectly harmless but can rise with viral infections etc)-I have a few patients with it and even one of my partners (who is Spanish)

PS love the Vietnam helicopter photo

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

john h on 3/10/03 at 09:02 (112414)

Peter: I have never heard of Gilbert's syndrome but will sure take a look. I know my billirubin has been borderline for at least 30 years but the doctors always just ignored it as it was just out of range. How did you come up on this? I am interested to know how my doctor knew that high billyrubin was a trait of Indians.

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

peter f on 3/11/03 at 14:51 (112567)

John I am a family doctor in England (who can't treat his own pf by the way!) The only cause of isolated bilirubin rise that I know of is Gilberts-the other liver tests have to be ok to diagnose it-it occurs in 2-5 % of the population and only occurs because some of the bilirubin isnt altered by the liver ('impaired glucuronidation') It is harmless and no treatment needed-I hope this tiny bit of help goes towards repaying you for all the upbeat messages you have put on this board which have cheered me up!

Re: What country(ies) are your ancestors from?

peter f on 3/11/03 at 15:03 (112569)

PS I have done a web search which shows links to high bilirubin and native Americans but also Greeks and Southern Europeans-it doesn't call it Gilberts but from a medical point of view that is the name of the syndrome (I also got a poem by a chap call Gilbert about why he would never buy a Cherokee Jeep but thats search engines for you!)