You might think this post is about Down syndrome.
About Samantha's youthful ignorance of the world around her, of the prejudices and stereotypes, the ignorance of others.
And you couldn't be further from the truth.
Oh, it's about Samantha, all right. It's about who she is. Where she comes from.
And it's amazing.
Daddy's ancestry search has turned up something truly remarkable (although he's still trying to confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt, all of his research has shown this to be true).
Let's just say, calling her "Princess," as we do so often, may not be that far from the truth...
American history is a funny, funny thing.
I'd always been jealous of people who can trace their ancestry back into America's settled roots, from the first ships to dock alongside the wild shores of a primitive country, those intrepid and hardy people who braved months at sea for an uncertain future in a new land.
My own family blood line is almost untraceable beyond the turn of the last century, with one side from Minsk, in Belarus, all records likely destroyed during World War II, and the other side from Germany, records in another language mostly unknown to me.
One day it may be possible, but not yet.
But Samantha's family blood line, on Steve's side (this means you, too, John, Diane, Diana and Mikayla!), is something else entirely.
Turns out this kid's way, way, way down in a long line of (at least) American royalty.
The characters in an old and fascinating play about the founding of this country, about roots in another, many names with whom we are all familiar.
Gardner (think veeeeery early America)
Macy (think retail)
Folger (think coffee)
Frost (think poetry)
Chamberlain (think Shogun)
Hayworth (think silver screen)
Kerry (think politics)
Hawthorne (think books)
Franklin (by marriage, not blood)
and...gasp...Tudor... (still largely unconfirmed - there's a definite bloodline link to the court of Henry VIII and a knight who was beheaded for treason and illicit relations with Anne Boleyn, and a more tenuous link to the Tudor bloodline itself).
And so, so, so many more. The list is absolutely staggering. One day I'll post it all, but wanted to give you just a little taste today.
Ohmygosh, this just gives me chills.
Thomas Gardner, born in 1592, is Steve's 11th Great Grandfather. Born in England, he landed in 1624 at Cape Ann, forming a colony at what is now known as Gloucester, Massachusetts. He's considered by some to be the first Governor of Massachusetts. His 6 sons and 3 daughters went on to spawn the descendants of most of the names above. Tudor comes into play much earlier, and Steve's not yet been able to confirm or deny that, although the evidence is looking pretty good. But wow, what a name!! Maybe our choice of Samantha's middle name, Elizabeth, after Elizabeth I, was even more fitting than we could have ever imagined...
For now, Steve will continue to do the research. Visits to Utah (I mentioned that one in a previous post) and Massachusetts may be in our not-too-distant future. We'll continue to bask in the glow of a wondrous and colorful history. I'll continue to badger my proud, English husband about his true loyalties on the Fourth of July, pressuring him to enjoy the day as a proud American as well (just kidding, Steve...).
And, at least for now, Samantha still doesn't know.
But I'm willing to bet this will be one hell of a school project one day...