My sister and friend have gone exploring today. She wants to look at some of the old graveyards where our ancestors are buried. Laura is our family historian and has done a lot of work tracing the family tree of both parents. Our father's was a bit challenging because our maiden name is not uncommon and can be spelt in so many ways. Add that to the tendency to spelling errors-Burk becoming Buck, amongst early recorders and it is easy to get sent along the wrong trail.
She has now gone back many generations through to the 1600's and earlier. We have gone from Ontario to New Brunswick, back to the United States to the Mayflower (where a grandfather pilgrim married a woman who was amongst the same group of immigrants), from there we travel back to Wales, Ireland and England. As with most peoples histories, there are mysteries; a grandmother who is mentioned briefly and then disappears (death in child birth?) and nobility; a ten times great grandfather who was a Saxon king- Egbert of all names.
There are some questions that haven't yet been answered. We know we have an aboriginal grandparent but haven't located him/her. Could she be the grandmother that disappeared? In any case, it is fun and Dad would have enjoyed it. Some family stories have been confirmed, others debunked.
None of it makes any difference to who we are but does make for some interesting speculation and family discussions. It is amusing to see the odd names (Ephraim) and how some reappear (David is very popular and we have a brother of the same name.) We all have family histories and, if you go back far enough, we find a variety of relatives, connections and mysteries. Ultimately, we are all related somewhere along the line. If not by a family tree, then certainly by our shared humanity. What one person does, for ill or good, affects everyone else.
Smile at a relative you don't know today.