Since my original blog is now locked down indefinitely, here’s an interesting reposted family related story to go with today’s fresh content.I originally posted this in August 2017.
As is my habit, I started today by looking at Facebook’s On This Day application. I found some interesting goodies from the past, including a bunch of old photos. Below is a picture of my grandparents. They were my mom’s parents.
I never knew Grandma Elliott. She died when I was four years old. We lived in England at the time, so I didn’t attend her funeral. I am her youngest grandchild of five. I have three sisters and a female cousin from my mom’s brother, who only had one child. I haven’t seen cousin Sue since my wedding day in 2002.
When I was growing up, I used to hear all the time about how much I resembled Grandma Elliott. My mom would go as far as saying that if I didn’t look so much like her, she’d swear she picked up the wrong baby from the hospital. I think that’s because I mainly got my personality from my dad’s side of the family.
I don’t know a whole lot about Grandma Elliott, other than she had blue eyes, like me. She also had dark hair, which I have never had. That’s partly because I colored my hair for years. Right now, it’s more or less natural because I quit coloring last fall. I was born blonde and went darker and now I seem to be back to blonde, which suits me fine. I must have gotten my hair from my maternal grandfather. I inherited my grandmother’s bone structure and her nose… and perhaps her penchant for being crabby.
Grandma Elliott’s first name was Adice (pronounced “ad-is”). I’ve never known anyone else with that name. Maybe if I’d had a daughter, I would have named her that. I was given Grandma’s middle name of Leighton. I always hated that name when I was a child, but I’ve grown to appreciate it now. It’s unusual and kind of elegant. My mom gave all four of her daughters traditional and formal names with a somewhat regal ring to them. All of us, except for one, go by nicknames.
I was told Adice worked in a dress shop and had a wonderful flair for fashion. She was noted for being really pretty and people even used to call her “Pretty” as a nickname. She was great at crochet. I even have a blanket she made. My mom is also really good at all things involving sewing, needlepoint, cross stitch, and knitting, although she never learned to crochet. I suck at sewing and needle crafts. However, I did inherit my mom’s musical genes.
I did some basic genealogy last year and determined that my grandmother is related to a large family in Lynchburg, Virginia. She grew up in Amherst, which isn’t too far from Lynchburg. When she married my grandfather, they moved to Buena Vista, Virginia, which is where my mom was born and grew up. It’s now become a Mormon mecca, thanks to LDS folks buying Southern Seminary and turning it into Southern Virginia University. My mom graduated from Southern Seminary.
All of this comes up just after Bill and I submitted DNA samples to 23andme. I told my mom about doing that and she was very interested. I look forward to finding out what my heritage is based on the test results. I’m guessing, based on what I’ve found so far, I’m mostly of British and German origins, although I won’t be surprised if there’s Native American in there too. My dad’s side of the family is rather dark… dark hair, dark eyes, and some members have rather dark skin or a lot of freckles. I definitely favor my mom’s side of the family, which is decidedly Celtic looking.
The majority of people on both sides of my family seem to have been in Virginia for a very long time, so I don’t have the connection to other parts of the world that some people do. I will say, however, that I feel very much at home in Britain and Germany. England is astonishingly familiar to me. The part where my very first memories come from looks just like where I grew up in Virginia.
As I write this, it occurs to me how fast time flies and how it seems like just yesterday, I was a child. Now I’m middle aged. I guess, if I’m going to make a point to anyone, it’s that you should try to enjoy your life as much as possible because time passes fleetingly. Before you know it, you’ll be solidly entrenched in the middle of your life. I look at mine and wondered if it’s going to mean anything to anyone, especially since I “broke the mold” and won’t be passing on any descendants… But then, given how very fucked up the world is today, maybe that’s a blessing.