Category: Ancestry

Recoil

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Med visdom kommer ensomhed

Tenderness, sympathetically persuading

Desolated, bare, uninhabited

Forsaken, adrift in bewilderment

Gawking eyes beseech; yet recoil

~Josette

 

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They Walked Before Me

Today, many across the world shall proclaim- “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” or worse say “Patty” in which technically it is known as “Paddy.” This is actually an unflattering term because once upon a time, it was used negatively towards Irish immigrants.

Except, taking pride in ones heritage does not, nor should be honored once a year. Yes, firstly I am born American; yet my blood comes from natives of Europe. Previous posts tell some of my journey, and how I discovered where I come from; better yet who I come from. My DNA is at the highest percentages for two populations that spread throughout Europe; Celtic and Viking people.

*Side note- Not only Irish and Scottish people are Celtic. Studying history, geography, migrations and folklore will teach otherwise.

A long study of mitochondrial DNA places my ancestors around 8,000 years ago in Central Europe. The subgroup that I branch from H1ap so far shows the highest matches to myself in Ireland. So I am estimating my genetic mothers were in the great old land of Eire (Ireland) for 3,000 years or more.

Is it about the land, or the people?

Yes, I am a firm believer in the concept, we are all human beings! I love the lands they lived in; however it is more about the heritage and identifying with as many of my dead ancestors that I can discover. We all come from humans that despite the odds of climate change, war, genocide, disease, famine and any other obstacle, survived. Taking a close look at human migration shows us how far some of us traveled just to ensure that the future would exist.

Why aren’t we celebrating our existence?

Is it really just about wearing green today? Getting drunk? or Plastering shamrocks and Leprechauns all over. Why is it all about one man? I don’t want to step on toes or religious views but the “snakes” St. Patrick drove out of Ireland were pagan people. People who didn’t believe as he did. I suppose a glance around our modern world we could say in current times the Muslims are being treated the same way. Why? because any different view is always seen in fear.

My one request for the world today is to look beyond the stereotypes of tradition or the norm and dig deeper. Find out who you are, discover the names of the people who brought you here. What were their struggles? What adversity did they face? Why did they have to move from country to country? I promise you the more you dig, the more you will transform. It doesn’t go without saying, you will find tragedy. You may even find at times your ancestors were oppressed by a major power. It is then you will find anger at first, and it may subside or cause hatred. Time will heal you! If getting my DNA evaluated taught me anything, it was that we are all connected in some way. Yes, even to the people who once oppressed your ancestors. That is when healing begins!

So by all means get up, celebrate today! The saying is “we’re all a little Irish.”  Just don’t forget that everyday, you are a product of the people who brought you to this destination!

 

Be blessed with peace

Josette

 

 

Ode to the Forgotten

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Abhorred by many they refused us callously

Comparable of cattle, ships brimmed with our brethren, facing this trial, this calvary

Our Mother land glimmered brilliantly from afar

Our hearts suffered incredibly, as she disappeared, she was no more

They restrained our hands, our feet, setting us ablaze

This chastisement, abuse, an infraction for not following their ways

Extermination the mark, they termed us louse, offal

To shed the blood of the children of Éire, lawful

We did not conform to their will, we are alive

Children of Éire, we rise infinitely, we thrive

We are spanned out beyond the boundaries of our great land

Children of Éire rise up, behold your brother’s hand

With every breath, they breathe, they are in our midst

Shout triumphantly, take pride beloved, the children of Éire, we still exist

*This is dedicated to every child of Éire that ever existed. We are an amazing bunch and though so many of us are scattered we should always remember our Mother land. May our ancestors of the great starvation and the times of slavery smile upon us as we continue to exist.*

Happy Birthday Great Grandmother

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Today was the birthday of my Great Grandmother Mary O’Connor. She was born February 21, 1895, in Bergen County New Jersey. She was the daughter of Irish immigrants John O’Connor of Sligo, Ireland and Mary Borris (Burrowes) of Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Today I lit a candle to honor her and said a few words in her memory. We did not let the flame die all day we lit a new candle from the same flame before the candle burned out.

I had some thoughts about her today and here they are:

I look at the window and wonder as each snowflake falls, did it snow just like this one-hundred twenty years ago? The day you were born. I wish this window was a doorway into the past. I imagine you on the other side waiting. Your smile is like magic lighting up your face. My hands tremble as they reach out to you. There are no words our emotions say it all.

I love you!

The moment you were born, you brought us into existence with you.

Thank you!

Happy Birthday Great Grandmother.

My Acadian Ancestry

I’ve spoken about my Paternal Grandmother Blanche Melanson before, and her Irish Ancestry through her Mother Edith Byrnes. I haven’t mentioned her Father. My Great Grandfather is Leo S. Melanson. He was born in 1882, and immigrated from Canada. His family has a long history in Canada since the 1600’s. One of the oldest ancestors on this branch is Guy De Comeau born 1450 in France. I have loads of cousin matches from my Comeau lines. The coolest find for me was finding out about  my seventh Great Grandfather. His name is Charles Melanson. He arrived in Canada in 1657 with his parents. Charles married Marie Dugas, and they are the founders of the Historical Melanson Settlement in Canada.

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Google Images of Melanson Settlement

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Until the deportation of the Acadians in 1755, it was the place of residence for Charles Melanson, his wife Marie Dugas, and their descendants. To learn more click here This family history on this branch is one of courage, and bravery. It is made up of French Huguenots, and Scottish highlanders. The first Nations of Canada are married into my Acadian branches. Sakmow Henri Membertou of the Mi’kmaq people is my twelfth Great Grandfather. image That is a Canadian stamp of him. Henri’s History I am continuing to discover so much about where I come from. It has been an exciting journey. As an American I am a mixed woman; yet I’m proud. I know I come from strong, brave people who struggled so I could be here today.

Grandfathers

 I’m always talking about my Irish ancestry; which I cherish.
I would like to introduce you to my Grandfathers. I never met them, so everything I know has been from research. Both of these men were not in my parents lives either.

My Paternal Grandfather was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He immigrated to America as a man. Tracing his ancestry in Denmark it was soon discovered the actual Paternal name of our family should’ve been Madsen. There was an event that took place where my Second Great Grandmother had to give her son her family name. So my surname should actually be Madsen; rather than Hansen. I do know my Grandfather had green eyes. My Dad has green eyes, as do I, and two of my sisters. My Grandfather had other children, but I’ve never met them. We are cut out for personal reasons I won’t mention.
I try hard to imagine what he looked like, and I always wonder what he was like. If I ever had the chance I’d like to find out if we shared common interests. Unfortunately this is all I know.

My Maternal Grandfather Robert Schramm is German, and Scottish.

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     The only photo I have of him.

His paternal line is German, and his Mother was German, and Scottish. His Grandfather was the first to immigrate from Germany. Adam Schramm my Second Great Grandfather arrived in New York from port Bremen aboard the SS Mosel on March 22, 1882.

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The picture above is the ship he came on. I traced him to a church in the former Manhattanville  on 125th street, and Amsterdam. It is called St. Joseph of the Holy Family.

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I took the photo above upon my visit there. St. Josephs had baptismal records for three generations of my Schramm’s. It was extremely eerie sitting inside the church. I actually cried a lot, and could feel oddly connected.
The census records allowed me to follow in their footsteps, along with military records. My Great Grandfather Andrew died young. My Grandfather was an orphan at thirteen. He, and his brother George Frederick went to live with their older brother John.
John Schramm was a young Father himself, and newly married. They all made a living working in lumber yards, and auto jobs.
World War II took them all to Europe.
My Grandfather served as Private First Class Company K 26th Infantry Regiment.

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      That is the logo for the 26th Infantry Regiment, also called blue spades.

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

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       This is a photo of the 26th Infantry Regiment in Germany.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

He did not come back right, and he struggled with alcoholism. I have been ordering birth, and death records for as many ancestors I can trace.
When his death certificate arrived, it was bittersweet. He died alone at forty-eight from alcoholism. When I opened the mail, I cried for a long time. I wished more than anything I could have been there for him.
I am now though, by living a life to honor not only him but all my ancestors.
Recently I visited his grave with my sister. My Grandfather, and Grand Uncle are buried in Long Island Military Cemeteries.

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That is a photo from our Veterans Day visit with Grandpa. My Uncle (his namesake) is buried there with him. My uncle died at the age of twenty-six, he had no children. He joined his Father only three years after. He was beaten in Far Rockaway, and died shortly after.

I’m still trying to trace Grandfathers family in Germany but there isn’t much to go on. The church records here say Bavaria. My Second Great Grandfather Adam was married to a Margaret Stark.
My other Grand Uncle George Frederick Schramm is a mystery. I would love to find his burial, and visit him.
I’ve recently turned to Genetic DNA testing with Family Tree DNA. I’m waiting for that Schramm match or breakthrough cousin.
Grandfathers Maternal line consists of my Great Grandmother Emma Neese. Her Father was John Neese a German, and Scottish man.
Her Mother was Mary Ann Wright a Scottish woman.
A recent cousin match with DNA for this line; uncovered disturbing news.
My Second Great Grandfather John Neese died in sing sing prison. His sentence was for killing his wife, my Second Great Grandmother.
My sister and I visited her grave recently. We found she had no headstone, and we are buying one this year for her.
To find out how I discovered Mary’s burial site read my Dreams Category. It’s pretty creepy but it happens to me often.

Someday, I’m hopeful, I’ll find more.