Monday, April 16, 2012

She Doesn't Know

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.

It's not.

And you couldn't be further from the truth.

Oh, it's about Samantha, all right.  It's about who she isWhere 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...


wendy said...

I just started with my sisters doing our family tree, isn't it amazing the stuff you find out!

Extranjera said...

Frost AND Hawthorne.
Chills. Totally.

Team Lando said...

All I want is to be Sammi's teacher whatever year they do family tree projects. Seriously.

Anna said...

Yeah that is awesomeness. My grandpa found his great grandpa fought with George Washington. They've even found where he is buried. A two hour drive from my parents. The interesting part is its on someone's property. They've made 2 trips to clear out brush and debris.youd never know it was there! Grandpa wants a wrought iron fence, historical marker. The works.mindboggling . Yours is way more interesting. Can't wait to read more.

Jenny said...

Wow, that's fascinating!!! I have always had a strange obsession with the Tudor court, I think I have read every book by every author ever written on it!!

Rochelle said...

So interesting, of course we have always known she was a princess!

Anna Theurer said...

I love learning all about ancestry. Princess Sammi!!!!!

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

so fun! my mother-in-law loves doing this...I need to sit down with her and hear about Maddie and Max have me wondering! smiles

Than4Keeps said...

How awesome to be able to trace your roots. She is a little princess & how great to just be able to learn about your heritage! I love seeing the commercials about ancestry and always wanted to find information on my family...for now, all that I'm able to do is ask a whole bunch of questions to my mother.

Cate said...

wait, Macy? My husband has some Macy ancestors. what if we are related??

if you come to Massachusetts, let me know! would love to meet up.

Cindy said...

This is so amazing! What a great heritage.

If they had when I was in high school, I know I would have received a better grade in my History class!

Melissa said...

My grandma started working on our family tree a while back and my uncle took over when she passed away, but I haven't looked at their progress lately.

Those are some pretty impressive names! If you do make it to Utah, let us know. We'd still be pretty far away for a visit (especially depending on where in Utah), but much closer than you are now!