Finding My Roots | Port of Seattle
, 2023-02-01 13:01:18,
I enjoy watching the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The show uses genealogical records and genetics to discover the family history of its guest. At the end of the episodes, each guest is given a book that contains genetic results, a family tree, and copies of historical records.
Very few people have access to the professionals who spend hundreds of hours researching each guest. Sites like Ancestry and 23andMe have made it easier to search historical records and build family trees. If you are lucky, you connect with a family member who has already searched the records and created a family tree. A lot of families have members who are unofficial family historians, so this knowledge is passed down by simply speaking to previous generations.
I realized that we are the people who came before us — embodiment of their lives and values as much as we try to be individuals. Kind of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” analogy.
As we get older, we experience more and more loss of these elders. During the height of the pandemic, it felt like each time I called home, I learned of another death. In this case, home is not the town I grew up in. Home is the town in the south where I was born — a town and area filled with my kin.
I was able to visit my family in the south in September. I can close my eyes and picture driving down the highway and getting off the exit. I can see each turn that leads me past the former homes of…
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