Monday, 21 February 2011

Family History Writing Challenge - Day 18

There is so much we inherit from our ancestors. One thing I find curious is just what we develop as being part of a family group compared to what is genetically passed down. I recently wrote to someone about age and there is a history of longevity in my family. My Great Great Grandmother, Caroline Ellis died aged 91 in 1935. Her daughter, my Great Grandmother, Annie Prudence Butcher nee Harris died in 1972 aged 92. Then three of my Great Aunts, the daughters of Annie died aged 94,98 and 95 respectively and the daughter of Annie's sister died aged 95 years. Whilst it is not usual to died at a grand old age now, I suspect it was in 1935, and perhaps even in 1972. Is that trend inherited or just luck? The men of the family died fairly young. The sons of my Great Grandmother all died before she did. We can explain men's early deaths - the unknown effects of smoking and the huge toll of manual labour, but women, certainly in the late Victorian period would have had just a hard time, especially if they kept house and worked in the fields....many hands make light work.

Physical similarities are really expected to be passed down. I for example look very like one of my second cousin, not too surprising as we are second cousins through a brother and sister marrying a brother and sister. Other similarities are height, eye colour and alike. I may have mentioned through the course of this blog that I am half Italian. I always feel very Anglo when I am with a group of Italians, yet can feel very Italian when I say or do something when in the company of non Italians. Curious.

So, when I look in the mirror and see my reflection just what else do I see? I see probably the resemblance of a few generations of family history.

Word count 321

1 comment:

  1. Thought provoking post, thanks.

    We often see traits coming through the generations in our families and comment on them.

    Left handedness is a biggie in my family with cousins, aunties, uncles, both myself and my brother and one of my own children.

    Also when researching the family tree on children's parentnal side, I found a photo in local archives of the local police. We knew there was a great,great uncle who was one of the first local policemen.
    When I looked at the photo it was like looking at my brother in law!



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