Saturday, May 11, 2013

Where do I come from?

This week while watching television, I finally paid attention one of the many ads that came on during a commercial break. I have watched this ad a million times and always thought in the back of my mind that it could be cool to look into my family tree. I don't know how to answer people when the question "where do you come from" is asked. My answer consists of "I come from a small town in East've probably never heard of it." But if the inquiring mind asks me about my family heritage I come up blank. English...Irish....Scottish....I don't know. I'm a white blonde girl so it has to be one of those. All I ever really knew was I had extended family in Virginia and Tennessee so we are southern to the core.

My dad told me his father came from Canada so that got me thinking. Chris's family is also from Canada....oh crap what if we are related??? I think that's what ultimately was keeping me from looking into the family tree. I said I was southern, but not in the marrying your cousin kind of southern. I'll cut to the chase....we are NOT related beyond our marriage. Shew!!

Here's the mother's side of the family is from Virginia and Tennessee for the most part. There are a lot of them! My grandmother had 4 brothers and before her generation there were even more. The Blessing family was blessed in the fertility department. My grandfather is a Reed, but his last name should have been Read. Somewhere in the birth certificate department the spelling was changed. I have found this in several extended lines of the family. Multiple spelling of names.....that totally wouldn't fly in 2013. I guess before technology handwritten documents were easy to misinterpret.

My dad's side of the family was interesting to me. My first and middle names, Peyton Jennings, come from that side so I really wanted to dig deep into where my name originated. This was another common question I couldn't answer...."Who were you named after?" My answer...."Ummmm a great, great, great not sure how many greats, uncle or someone who was in the Civil War and an aunt of some sort that we spend Christmas with, but I'm not really sure exactly how we are related." Now I can proudly say I was named after Peyton N. Hale, a Captain in the Civil War who was the cousin of my grandmothers grandfather. The website lists him as my first cousin four times removed. My parents saw his headstone in a family cemetery before I was born. I believe his middle name is joke. My mom used to say that was the other name they had on the short list when I was born. Glad that didn't work out! The third name on the short list was Eli, who was my grandmother's great grandfather. Ironic isn't it....Peyton and Eli......Manning. Get it now?!?!

Then my middle name, Jennings before I got married, came from Lucille Jennings who was my grandmother's first cousins daughter, or my second cousin 1 time removed. Still don't understand the times removed part of these relationships. I grew up knowing her as 'Wogs' because when she was a child they said she looked like a pollywog. Not sure that resembling an amphibian is a compliment but it stuck as a nickname until the day she died.

Now do you see my confusion when answering these questions about my name??

To go a little further, my dad's father was from Montreal, Canada. I never knew him as he passed away when my dad was in his 20's. But his grandfather, so my great, great grandfather, Captain James Wright, originated in Scotland before heading to Canada in the 1830s....on a boat. Can you imagine how long that had to have taken??

So to make this extremely long story short, I come from a Scotland, Canada, Virginia and Tennessee. What a wonderful combination!! I do have to give credit to my cousin Rachel for starting this project before me. I pulled so much information from parts of the tree she had already created and that was a huge help to finding what I was searching for. Thanks Rach!

And thanks mom and dad for creating me! Love you!

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! So cool to find out where your name came from. My husband has done a lot of work on our family tree and we had also joked/wondered if we're related because we met in MD, but our families came from the same small town in Philadelphia a long time go...thankfully, we aren't related either ;)