March 6, 2007

We Are Family

I have been researching my family genealogy off and on for the past 10 years or so. More off than on. But recently, I've resurrected my interest in those who had a hand in getting me here, and I've come to a few conclusions.

Discovering my ancestors helps in making me feel that I once again have roots. After I decided that I didn't want anything to do with my parents- which led to the rest of the family disowning me (save two sisters and a brother), I really felt like I was all alone in this big, ol' scary world. My foundation, as shitty as it was, had vanished. So, finding all of these dead people has helped immensely in giving me some roots. I have roots, people. Old, dead roots.

I've also discovered why I have such a dark sense of humor. I have no choice. It's genetic. My ancestors had to develop a really sick sense of humor just to survive. I had a great-grandfather who offed himself with a shotgun, an uncle who died in a boiler accident and a great-great grandfather who croaked by choking on a piece of raisin pie. I'm sorry, Gramps, but that is just such an undignified way to go. I had an aunt who was a kleptomaniac, and a great-grandmother who was a call girl in a cat house. Grandma Floozy then went on to doctor a marriage certificate of the man she was living with by putting her name where his ex-wife's name was, so she could get his social security benefits. Most of the women in the family had their husband's die at an early age, and left them with a passel of kids to raise on their own. I'm not going to be surprised in the least bit when I find that they iced their husbands for no other reason than they couldn't help it because they all had the crazy blood in them. I'm still researching the death of another great-grandmother who either commited suicide by jumping off a bridge or was pushed off it by her son. And this is just on my mother's side, and I've only gone back a few generations. Sweet Fancy Moses, I have absolutely no chance of being sane.

The other night I found where someone had traced a line of my family way, way the heck back. I kept finding more and more generations and I was reading the dates out loud to Thomas. When I hit the 1600s he was all like, "Wow! That's really impressive". But, the farther back I went, the less enthusiastic his replies were. When I got back to Henry II, his response was down to an "Uh huh". But when I shouted out Valavarans of the Ostrogoths, he exploded with, "There's no fucking way. They're just making up shit, now. There's no way they can know that. I'm not going to believe they traced it all the way back to the Ostrogoths."

I think he had such a volatile response because a.) He's jealous that I'm Ostrogoth and he's not. And b.) He's scared that since I have Ostrogoth blood coursing through my veins I may bludgeon him in his sleep or something.

Take Care,
Babs of the Ostrogoths - I so love the way that sounds.


  1. Ostrogoths in Arkansas???

  2. Well honey, now that you have roots, should we start calling you Babla-Kinte?

  3. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Crazier than a shithouse rat eh? Cool! Uh, I mean cool that you know so much of your family history.

    btw my name doesn't mean I think I am crazy, It's a line from a song I was listening to at the time of creating the blog haha, I don't REALLY think you are cazy just like me.

    I think I am completely normal hehehe. shhh

  4. I'm betting you're mostly Irish, huh? :)

    I'm all about genealogy too (once in awhile). What frustrates me is when the trail just ends. So and so turns out to be a foster kid, their real parents having probably met one night at a tavern, and that's it. Dead end. I want my own Henry II! Well, I've got this guy.

  5. I want to be a Visigoth...sadly, I have next to no interest in my geneaology, mostly because I think my family, both sides, were all farmers, not so exciting.

  6. Diana - Well, there's at least one Ostrogoth in Arkansas. But, no one in my family is from Arkanasas. At least not that I know of. We're all from the midwest.

    Sharna - Ooooh. I like Babla-Kinte. I might have to get my name legally changed.

    Crazy - Yep. We are all 100% completely normal. Tee hee.

    Don - Irish must = crazy, huh? But, yes I am. Both, in fact. And it is frustrating when you get to a dead end in your research. I think your guy may be cooler than Henry II.

    Kathleen - You might be surprised. My ancestors were farmers and coal miners. Albeit, demented farmers and coal miners.

  7. All the weird ones in my family are still alive, heavy sigh!

  8. Up in my neck-o-the-woods legislation was passed that legally defined 'family' for all contractual purposes as being any individuals that share residence/resources/expenses - this following a heartbreaking story where a Toronto house burned down that was shared by a gaggle of squeegie kids. They lost all of what little thay had and the shit-ass insurance company stiffed them citing responsibility to one individual's share only because they were not 'family'.

    Anyways - I simply adore the notion that one can choose who there family is regardless of bloodline and if you want, babs - you can be my crazy American cousin! The offer's on the table.

  9. Carla - Oh, we've still got weird live ones, too. In fact, it's difficult finding a sane one.

    Fwig - Oh my god. This is seriously one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me. I'm overwhelmed that someone would actually choose to be related to me. So, yes, I would be honored to be your crazy American cousin. I feel all warm and fuzzy now.