Friday, March 16, 2012

Families, Genetics, and Me

I've been working on a Family History scrapbook/photo album and it has made me think about all the people that went into making me. That sounds a bit egocentric, but it is true of every one of us. We are each a unique individual, made up of genetic traits inherited from an unimaginable line of other people. Each generation doubles the number of ancestors in my lineage. I've only gone back to the late 1600s in my family tree (following both my mother's paternal and maternal forbears and my father's maternal and paternal forbears). I've found family names I knew nothing about, and a mystery or two.

One of the fun things is finding photos of ancestors and relatives that others have posted on line. These distant cousins and I have ancestors in common, but we will never meet. In looking at the faces of the ancestors I've never seen images of before, I see resemblances to relatives I do know. I realize that I have genetic connections to hundreds (maybe thousands) of people living today. (Those ancestors had some very large families that went forth and multiplied!)

I can't have a personal connection to all those distant relatives. But I can treasure the connections I have with the family I do know. How lonely and barren my life would be without them!

My roots are firmly in Wyoming, but my parents came here from Texas and North Carolina. When they were each born it would have seemed most unlikely that their lives and spouses would be found in Wyoming, and that they would meet in a tiny town at a community dance. On such slim chances hung the very existence of me and my siblings and all our descendants!

Of thousands of such stories we are made.


  1. I love it! AND, I am so excited to be the first to comment. I won't be the last!

  2. How cool! I love looking into family history and I can't wait to see your work!