I recently had my DNA analyzed by Ancestry.com and didn’t figure I would find too many surprises. I always grew up saying I was half German and half American since my mother had come from Germany and my Dad from America. Makes sense, right? I didn’t figure I would find a lot of surprises in my DNA. Wrong!
Great Britain 27%
Western Europe 22%
Eastern Europe 9%
Italy Greece 2%
Iberian Peninsula 2%
West Asia 1%
Middle East 1%
The last two percentages were possible but the rest is the ‘real me’ for sure. I was surprised to not have much German showing up but I do look like my Dad’s side of the family. The Irish was a surprise but a suspicion as the gene for red hair usually indicates Scotland or Ireland. I don’t have the red hair in the family but showed Scotland and Ireland in the analysis. Seemingly, my antecedents really got around.
So far, I’ve only traced my Father’s side of the family and have gotten back to the 1300’s where we have a couple of Knights and Ladies. My husband said to follow exactly from which son of a son of a son I could trace back to but it turns out that until the 1800’s, they each had one son! My great grandfather broke the tradition and had ten children and my grandfather had four children.
Seeing the names of the Aunts and Uncles (my Father’s sibling) brought back a few memories. I don’t remember my Uncle Emerson but met my Aunt Helen one time. The one, however, I remember the most without having seen her was my Aunt Viola who was married to my Uncle Emerson. It seems she was almost my second mother!
When my mother was pregnant with me, she was horribly sick the entire time. She became pregnant being underweight and weighed even less at nine months pregnant. Things, however, went well and she went home with her baby girl. Much to her surprise, Uncle Emerson and Aunt Viola showed up to visit a couple of weeks after my birth. You have to remember that back in those days, telephones were for local calls and letters took a week or more to arrive. My aunt and uncle lived in Missouri and we were in Colorado at the time. Seems that my Father panicked at my mother’s ill health and told his brother, Emerson, that if something happened to his wife, he couldn’t copy with a baby and he would like them to adopt me! My mother and Aunt Viola were friends and this was never mentioned but I can imagine she shed a few tears at not returning home with a baby. She couldn’t have children.
Well, I had a difficult time finding information about Aunt Viola for the family tree this week. When Uncle Emerson died, she kind of faded out of the family picture. My grandmother wasn’t a gem to any degree so I think Aunt Viola struck out on her own and cut her connections with the family. After a lot of digging (I’m getting good at researching family roots!), I found her and was saddened to discover she passed away in 2011! I would have like to have seen her and talked to her. So even not knowing/remembering what she looked like, it was a little sad to have missed a tiny reunion with someone that had been nice to my German mother fresh from the war and thank her for having cared about my welfare.
January 10, 2017 presented us with an interesting anniversary – William Frederick Cody died on that date in Denver, Colorado one hundred years ago. Oh, by the way William Frederick Cody was better known as Buffalo Bill.
During his active life, Buffalo Bill had been the Chief of Scouts of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry, served as a guide for both the army and the Pacific Railroad and was legendary for his buffalo hunting in the prairies of the American West. It is easy to understand how he eventually came to be known as Buffalo Bill. More people probably know him for his Wild West Show which traveled all over the world.
Today, we can visit both his tomb and a museum named after him and said to be one of the most viewed museums in the United States. When we say he traveled the world, he ventured far from his country’s shores to Europe on many occasions. Buffalo and his group would travel by train to reach their destinations and set up his shows in huge, open places where he could reenact famous battles like the Battle of Little Big Horn. The Wild West Show camped in some open fields in Rome in March 3, 1890 situated in close proximity to the Vatican. Wild Bill was not a Catholic but did send a request to Pope Leo XIII for an audience which was rejected as his group was just too large Later, however, accommodations were made and Buffalo Bill and some of his companions were permitted to be there from the Pope’s entrance into the Sistine Chapel. To this day, you can see some of the memorabilia in the Denver Museum given to Buffalo Bill by the Pope.
Many years later, on January 9, 19l7, Buffalo Bill was near death and even though he had been a Mason all his life, he asked to be baptized a Catholic. His request was honored and he died the very next day.
Now that leads one to wonder if his brief meeting with Pope Leo XIII was a turning point for Buffalo Bill spiritually or did God, as usual, work in mysterious ways.