I really love doing research for a project. I love learning random facts and exploring places and meeting people – even if it’s only via the internet. I definitely would not have been as productive with my writing during this quarantine if not for the internet. Well, the internet and my training on how to suss out credible sources.
I can’t even tell you how I landed on it, but in the midst of researching for a project yesterday, I ended up in an ancestry rabbit hole. I have a book for my mother’s side of the family (put together by her aunt). We’ve always known from where her family lines had descended – Germany, France, and Poland.
My dad’s side is a bit a more of a mystery, but we were always told Germany, Italy, and Norway. Well, it turns out, we can add Luxembourg, Austria, and Ireland to that list – and that’s just from my paternal grandfather’s line. I’m even more of a mutt than I originally thought!
The Irish ancestry caught my attention, and I did a little more directed digging. It seems we descend from Clan Ó Duibhgeannáin (anglicized to Dignan), which was a “family of professional historians in medieval and early modern Ireland.” Suddenly, my love of research and Irish Whiskey makes a lot more sense… (Looking at you, Writer’s Tears – which I had sought out because I loved the name, and now it’s one of my favorites!)
I realize fully what a privilege it is to know as much as I do about my ancestors, and there is still so much to learn. (My paternal grandmother’s line is a bit of a mystery beyond the Norwegian.) It is mind boggling to consider all of the people that had to line up for me to exist.