With this post coming the day after Thanksgiving, you’re probably expecting a run-down of how I spent my fourth Thanksgiving living in France. Alas, this has nothing at all to do with that. We’re actually not celebrating this most American of holidays until tomorrow evening, so you’ll have to wait a few more days for that story. Instead, this article is just an update on a genealogy project of mine. It’s probably not very interesting or exciting to most of you, but it’s a big deal for me:
It’s official — I’m a Huguenot!
(… well, I’m officially the descendant of two of them.)
Like I said … not exactly “breaking news,” but I was happy to get the envelope in the mail this week. It’s the culmination of a long process: first becoming aware of my distant French roots, then longing to know more about them, making the effort (and facing the frustrations) of tracing my lineage back three centuries, and finally having that history officially recognized by the “keepers” of such things. But what now? It’s a good question. I suppose I’ll pay my dues every year, get a newsletter in the mail, and think more about what importance — if any — this connection really has for me. Why did I want to know more about a young couple from ten generations ago? Why did I need to prove a link to them? What does it say about who I am now … or who I’m not? Why do I feel compelled to keep their memory alive? Is it my way of leaving a trace of who I am for when I’m no longer here?
A few related articles for you:
You’re a huge WHAT?
(about the genealogy project)
The French Connection: At Least 0.04%
(about my first Huguenot ancestors to immigrate to America)
franecdote 1685 : I Won’t Tolerate It
(about King Louis XIV’s policies that prompted their immigration)
Once upon a time …
(about how my research has sparked a creative pursuit)
© 2013 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved