Storms make trees take deeper roots

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013:

Dolly Parton said: “Storms make trees take deeper roots.” Agree or disagree?

It may be true for the trees that are still standing after a storm. I do not know. I do understand this is meant to be figurative, not literal. I suppose that to go deeper, it takes some care of the ground, and nature should certainly be able to know better.

After Hurricane Sandy rainbow
Rainbow captured after Hurricane Sandy in Westchester – ©The Julliard Journal – Nancy Allen

Unfortunately, man has a terrible habit of going against nature, building where it is not supposed to be built, and destroy some natural elements that would contribute to let nature follow this rule of growth and lesson for the better.

I am witnessing storms in and storms out, and I am not entirely optimistic that it is teaching the proper way always. I see the majority go to hasty conclusions too often, rather than working on consolidating the roots, by going back to them and making sure they are grounded and nourished the proper way.

It takes time to prepare for a storm, and that is what makes a deeper grounding of the roots. But the rat race is still on for many of us, and the time to be prepared is not taken. Dealing with crisis all the time is not the proper way to acknowledge that storms happen: they seem to hit where the trees have not grown yet, and where the volatile is the rule of the land.  I would like to be wrong and less cynical. I would like to believe that Dolly Parton is right, and I would love to agree with her. It is a very soothing and inspiring thought. Because it is beautiful, it does not really need to be true. It matters that it brings a good feel to the story.

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Roots of responsibility and wings of independence

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Monday, June 17, 2013:

The original quote about giving children roots and wings referred to the “roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” Does that change your understanding of the quote?

So, I have been looking at this week’s prompts, and they feel like work in school and I have little remembrance on how easy or difficult I was finding the exercise.

I suddenly feel very old and unable to write essays on literature, and the quote seems to be from a particular author (why is he or she not credited?) that I have no idea of, and of course, I had never heard the quote myself, so what do you expect? It is not changing my understanding from any prior understanding!

A+ Rubber Stamp on Notebook Paper
Photo Credit 1000awesomethings.com

The wings of independence: flying on your own. It is a powerful dream. Teenagers are eager to reach that moment. My youngest son is leaving in less than two weeks now, and will be flying on his own – with peers and chaperones, for safety of my mind – into unknown territories. Going to place I have never gone, experiencing new adventures, and growing responsible. We have talked about it at length, and I brought up several of my expectations that he would be respectful and responsible young man, making right choices and remembering that there are always the easy and the right way and that they are not the same.

Have I given him a seed that grew roots strong enough? Only the future will now tell me. I tried to remember my own teenage years and how lost I felt often, especially looking at what I did in hindsight. I can’t remember anything that I am proud of today even if most of the memories I have are extremely vivid and like strong foundations in my life. I just feel I made a lot of wrong choices, even though I can’t revisit those choices and imagine the “what if”s. I desperately wanted to be independent and I did not fly safely. At the time, I did not have any root to feel grounded: I returned to them much later in my life.

 

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Traveling back in time

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Friday, June 14, 2013:

If your family has moved over time, have you ever traveled to the place your ancestors lived?

I am the one who moved.
I was born somewhere very far from where I live. I cannot easily decide that I am going to show my children the places I was cruising when I was their age. I often feel bad about it.

I realize it happened to my mother too. I used to hear stories about the place of her birth and youth all the time. It had a mythical touch. And then, same with my maternal grandmother. I remember the first time I visited her hometown, she had passed a long time before already, so I could not even ask her anything about her memories, if she had any of the city, and if the pictures I could take from it were showing big differences with her time.

A green window
Courtesy of ©Flickr – Michael Cory

There is some acute sadness about that. I guess I like it better to visit photo albums, to see glimpses of what it could have felt at the time the people I relate to where living there.

If I go back in time again, and try to figure out other places my ancestors had lived, or traveled through, I can’t really say that I am attracted to the idea of visiting those places, today. Yes, I would love to travel in time, in imagination and see how it looked back then. I like historic movies, or novels, much more than traveling, maybe for that reason. I am not so much of a good traveler I guess.

Once or twice I went visiting family or friends in the craddle of where my ancestors lived for centuries it seems. I remember these visits were not meant to be pilgrimages to where they lived, so I can’t say it left a particular impression on me. I do not seem to be wanting to be physically walking their steps to be able to spiritually reunite with them. Distance is painful when you want to craddle and have a hug, but I have no memories that this is what I received when I needed those hugs anyways.

The only time, I actually felt like I was really traveling to the place my ancestors lived, was a dramatic occurence. Because of my mental illness, back in 1987, I had a severe episode of mania, and had to be hospitalized and drugged with antipsychotic drugs to stop the dangerous spiral I was in. This was what it looked from the outside world which I was not in anymore, mentally speaking. The rush of whatever chemicals that my brain was producing was taking me to places back in time, and I hallucinated about all my ancestors coming back to me to support me in recovering.

It was a very powerful hallucination – not scary at all, because it had none of the horror movie features that are usually associated with this kind of scenario. It was more like a very warm and fuzzy family reunion, or rather a family visiting the sick person I was, and they were all coming to my bedside to encourage me to feel better and to get better. I certainly could recognize some of the grandparents, then figured out the great-grand-parents and so on, from generation to generation, it was seemingly endless procession of ancestors, all lovingly coming to my rescue.

It felt like the most ancient ones where coming from the Garden of Eden, bringing healing fruit from the Tree of Life, encouraging me to choose the right path: because they were two paths on that journey, and I did not exactly know which door was leading to which path, I had to make a choice by myself. A beautiful woman who was my ancestor from before times were even recorded, named Lilith, guided me in her own way, and I ended up chosing the road to recovery.

When I need to find solace, I do try to go back to the place she was and remember her ways and her guidance, surrounded by my entire family through time as a supporting strength to face my difficulties. That’s definitely how I travel the best.

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The importance of knowing one’s roots

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Thursday, June 13, 2013:

How important do you believe it is for a person to know their roots?

I am sure that when you know your roots, you feel a sense of identity that gives you strength to go through life, which is never an easy thing. It helps feeling grounded, having a feeling of meaning. However, thinking of those who have very little way to find their roots – because they have been adopted for instance – and also thinking of those who might discover that they were born of a rape, this might be troubling to go back to these stories.

Roots - Systems by Aaron Springer
©Courtesy of Flickr – Aaron Springer

How important do I believe it is for a person to know their roots? I am not sure I believe it is important.

It is a personal inclination to see interest in such a search and knowledge. I believe it is important to take care of oneself, I believe it is important to know and follow rules to live in harmony and ethically with others, but apart from these things I believe are important, I am not sure I would rate knowing one’s roots as truly important: I don’t believe that you are unbalanced even if you don’t know your roots. The roots are certainly part of who you are, but if you choose not to know them, I don’t believe it makes you less or more of a kind. I believe this is part of an introspective quest, or search, or curiosity. It certainly would bring you lots of great insight, knowing your roots, and if you integrate this insight properly, it certainly can help you grow some personal assets, but I believe it is really like being interested in a subject matter, and not everyone is curious about this, and they still live very well without it!

 

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How does going back to one’s roots feel like

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013:

What does getting back to your roots look like to you?

Going back to my roots is a way to  honor those who have come before me and basically made it possible for me to be who I am.

It looks like a pilgrimage sometimes, an arduous road with rocks that climbs to the unknown, made of strange emotions,  a mix of sadness for what is not anymore and a pride that can overwhelm the sadness and make me feel so alive, so thankful, grateful and inspired.

cimetiere-colleville
View of some rows of graves overseeing the beach of landing at the American Cemetery of Colleville sur Mer

I have experienced this three summers ago, when I had planned to visit my family back in France, and my brother invited the three of us for a week’s vacation in Normandy, with the goal of having the three cousins bond around their common roots, the American boys and the French one visiting the Normandy beaches of landing, and learn about their common history with the heroic and often tragic demise of the British and American troops who fought the German army on these beaches in 1944.

We had rented a cottage near Sainte-Mère-l’Eglise, and toured all the beaches each day, the museums and all the memorials that are on the roads at nearly each corner of the villages on the coast for miles and miles. History was alive under our feet. We went to the American cemetary in Colleville-sur-Mer and had the most moving experience, when my two boys, aged 13 and 15 silently stood, their baseball cup placed against their heart, in this so typically American posture of respect, that does not belong to the French culture at all, and I got the chills. With nearly 10,000 graves marked by white crosses, some of them adorned of a Star of David, the sight is chilling and solemn, the magnitude of the tragedy that unfolded is palpable. My son started to notice names of brothers, cut short in their lives in their twenties and our imagination could only venture at the surface of the pain that must have been endured.

Feeling how the sacrifice of those young men and women had allowed them to come to this world – had France not been liberated, it is very unlikely that their grand-father had met their grand-mother, given birth to their mother, and therefore they would not have existed… as simple as that.

Last summer, I took my youngest to the Memorial of the Shoah in Paris, and this time we said kaddish for my grandmother. We walked in the streets of Paris, in Le Marais, where I told him some of the stories of the area, that resonate so much for me. Less for him. It felt more like being a tourist in a city where the roots were not so obvious for him. Nevertheless, he chose to go on with going back to his roots and will travel to Europe and Israel this summer. I feel like I have passed the right heritage to him.

I may sometimes – pretty often in fact – feel like a fragile tree barren of its leaf in the wind, not knowing very well, if I will hold or fall and wondering if my limbs will weather the storms and the harsh winters, and then I remember that deep in the ground there are those multiple, often complicate roots, that hold steady and fast. I feel that if the ground is taken good care of, tended to properly, these roots will help my body and my entire being to strive, grow and multiply in a healthy way. It gives me strength and hope for the future. This is how getting back to my roots feels like to me.

 

See some of my other posts of the series:

Influencing culture

Family traditions

A family history

Influencing Culture

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013:

How much does your culture come into play in your day-to-day life?

How much? An awful lot, I would say!

Eiffel Tower
Image courtesy of chrisroll at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My culture is extremely grounded in the fact that I lived in France for forty years, and that when I moved here, being French was so much part of my identity that I felt very foreign.

Living in a very rural part of the county when I had been a city girl for so many years may have added to my sense of isolation, and then came the diagnosis of autism for our elder, followed very shortly after with the collapse of the relationship with my husband. I needed to cling to something solid. My culture was my backbone, and I had no one left to share it with.

So the other part of my identity, being Jewish became even more important. Thankfully, there was a strong Jewish community in my town, and I affirmed and grounded myself in that part of my culture, that was not as foreign anymore, even though I had to adapt to some very significant different customs than from what I had known back in my hometown.

See my other posts of the series:

Family Traditions

A sweet name

Genealogy and Family Trees

Family Traditions

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Monday, June 10, 2013:

Tell us about a tradition passed through your family.

When we think of traditions, we might think of foods, of meals, of holidays. Those are very “classical” traditions, and I was wanting to find a more unconventional tradition, that would belong to my particular family only. I like it when things are not exactly like with everyone.

ID-100131977
Image courtesy of -Marcus- at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is a long lasting tradition of unconspicuously shaking the piece of clothing at our collar bone, pinching it between the thumb and index and slightly shaking it as to take off an imaginary dust. The gesture could even be accompanied by the energetic statement “On se secoue!” (“Let’s shake oneself off!”). The whole ceremonial (as discreet as can be) is a quick way to chase the evil eye, in other words a way to call upon some kind of protection in the face of a gloomy possibility. Someone mentioning a bad accident that occured to them recently could elicit the gesture while feeling very sorry for what has happened to the fellow and showing our compassion, while quite mechanically bringing our hand to our collarbone and shaking it off from the bad luck that might have befallen us too. I know that other people would knock on wood in the same kind of circumstances, we don’t: we shake ourselves and secretly wish for the best!

This tradition seems to stem its origins in sefardim, the Jews from Northern Africa descent, and all my cousins do it too. It’s like a secret sign of acknowledgement. I often wonder what strangers to our family or tradition could think when they would hear us or notice us in passing! (You have to really observe to notice and wonder what it means, unless you keep hearing bad news in a row!).

Another tradition started sixteen years ago between one of my brothers and me only.
My youngest son and his were born two months apart, both on an eleventh of the month. As they were babies, it was customary to celebrate each of their month, as we usually do after four weeks of life of those precious bundles of joy. We kept counting their months far above the time lives of babies are counted in months, and even after their third birthday, we would solemnly wish each other something on the 11th. Since we were not neighbors anymore, it had become a special email message, with something witty, related – or not – to the number 11. In 2001, thankfully we had already exchanged our facetious wishes when the tragedy struck the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center, as it was already much later in the daytime for my brother who lives in Europe, and I usually answer his emails first thing when I get up, so much before the terrible events unfolded. It was my nephew’s fourth birthday, and also the first day of his last year of nursery school for my son. We still faithfully kept the tradition going on even though tragedy again struck on March 11 in Madrid a couple of years later (2004 as a matter of fact) and then the terrible earthquake followed by the devastating tsunami in Japan 2 years ago.

This tradition has absolutely no superstition component to it, it is as facetious and friendly as can be, and it is made of brother/sisterhood at its best. It is a way to remind ourselves how important we remain in each other’s thoughts, and having a date to formally acknowledge it is very meaningful. We do email, or chat each other very often otherwise, at any given time of any day of the month, but this tradition of formally celebrating the eleventh is extremely strong. Tomorrow will not be any exception to our very special game! And it is always a surprise on what the theme might be. I am looking for it.

This is maybe not a tradition that was passed through our family, but rather a newly established one, that, who knows, will pass to the two cousins, our sons?

 

See my other posts of the series:

A sweet name

Genealogy and Family Trees

Three generations away

Generations

Random facts about my judaism

A family history

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Friday, June 7, 2013 – Prompt:

Tell us a story from your family history.

Wow. This prompt is leaving me with a blank.
I am not so good at choosing when the choice is too wide.
I chose to follow the prompts for that reason. The topic of “Roots” felt wide and vague enough for me to need the framework and the prompts seem to better offer that framework.

But then telling a story from my family history feels like going back to the ocean of the general topic of “Roots”. What story? Each day is a story, each person is a story. My mother wrote a book about her story, my father, upon my request, did so too, not a real book in his case, because he is a reluctant writer, so he chose to gather facts and piled them in a sort of chronology of how he went through his years before he got married for instance.

Then my mother also prepared fabulous photo albums after she retired. It is very time-consuming, so I am eternally grateful to her that she did so, and every time I visit – which is unfortunately only every other year – I enjoy going to those heavy books of pictures that she organized following some themes that are meaningful to her only in the beginning, but that I am ready to adopt to embrace her memories of her life, especially fascinating that I am in the stories of course! And that my recollections are tainted with another set of memories, or emotions, and that shows how we perceive events or reality through our own prisms always!

These are wonderful stories, sometimes painful stories too, that I participated in for the last parts at least (fifty-five years and counting!). The stories that took place before my birth have another flavor. I grew more fond of learning them as I am getting older: because I am more busy with my memories than when I was busy with my dreams and hopes. Because I have lost so many of the wonderful people who were building the possibilities in these stories also. Because I know better the value of the instant that I have let go so often, without paying enough attention to the story that was underlying and that was meaningful when it was unfolding.

Also, because I know how life can take it all in a split second: and what if no one was left to retell this or that story? I am a very anxious person, and my anxiety is growing with passing years, instead of subsiding into a more serene state of mind. I thought that working on building up memories that can last an eternity was a way to overcome the panic and the feeling that I could suddenly lose things forever.

I have come to believe that my profound anxiety stems in my history. There has been a lot of abusive events, enough to prove that I would be scarred and scared. I remember what a psychiatrist whom I had been in therapy with when I was younger had suggested to me, that being the daughter of holocaust survivor had certainly an impact on my psyche. Research has documented this since (see the footnote).

The thing with Jews, is that if you go back into their history, there is very likely a short period between succeeding traumas. The generations that lived before the Holocaust (or Shoah, as I prefer to call it – but that is another story – ) had gone through pogroms, or displacement, or if you go back again a quarter century, you’ll find persecutions, antisemitism, and destruction again, and again, enough to traumatize one generation over an other. This is one way of looking at the story. And then, there is the other way of looking at it: which is the incredible resilience, the everlasting rebuilding upon ashes that these families, mine, have accomplished in the face of these destructions and evil events. Yes, sometimes, I find a branch that goes dry, that is coming to a tragic end, but very often, another member of the same family has done differently and gone to recreate a burgeoning tribe. Also, some of the members who have been cut off from their roots, for different reasons probably, and lost their belonging to the Jewish family, often surprisingly resurrect their Judaism many years later and seem to go ‘back home’.

This is certainly the story that I would choose preferably to tell. How I feel profoundly and inherently part of a family, a very special family that goes back so far in time that I can’t exactly know when or where it really started. It gives me strength and solace, it gives me support and hope. It certainly depends on my belief system and faith, but even when I doubt and feel like I do not believe that much, it seems to have a way to catch me back, as if I was attached with a rubber band that is not drying.

I know that the best stories are stories with a happy ending. But when you talk about a family history what could be the ending? It is a never-ending story! It certainly is not a fairy tale, when we live happily ever after, after the events that took place dramatically in the tale, because there is so much unknown to what a family can become, but I am proud to be part of it, as little as my role could be in its unfolding, and as humble my words can be in their attempt to leave a trace in the sand for all to know about what we did and how we did it.

Footnote: Links in English on Trauma experienced by Holocaust survivors and their children

See my other posts of the series:

A sweet name

Genealogy and Family Trees

Three generations away

Generations

Random facts about my Judaism

A sweet name

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Thursday, June 6, 2013:

Are you named after someone on your family tree?  Tell us about that person.

Naming children seems to be following different patterns in the United States and in other countries. For instance, I do not have a “middle” name per se, but three different names, and then I also have a Hebrew name. The latter is more of a liturgical name, or religious.

My other names are the usage name, and then those that would qualify for “middle” here. Both of those names are after each of my grandmothers. I like those names a lot, even though I never used them independantly, I mean I would always list them in order after my usage name, it feels like a sing-song, something very melodic, as it gives me a six syllable surname in fact!

My third name is after my mother’s mother, whom I was very fond of. I was nearly thirteen when she died, and I have many memories, as we spent a lot of time together. I used to go to sleep over at her place once a week, then when I grew up twice a week, on Wednesday nights and Saturday nights. She seemed pretty old to me at the time, but we enjoyed spending peaceful time together, it was very structured, a regular simple meal, watching television, the news, in black and white on a heavy set with only one channel. She was reading a different newspaper than the one my parents would read at home, and seemed to have more conservative opinions than my parents, but we never really argued. I remember her as very softspoken, very delicate and neat.

She tried to teach me how to do embroidery but I was really not very gifted with my fingers, and the hoop was not helping me produce much more than a poor flower here and there.

She was very proud of her family, and she spoke about it a lot, telling me memories of her childhood. She was the eldest of many brothers and one sister, her little sister whom she had mostly raised. Three of her brothers were killed during WWI and a fourth one perished in WWII leaving her with only one brother and one sister. They all lived in the same area and were very close.

She loved music. She spoke a lot about classical musicians and she also attended my piano lessons sometimes, encouraging me, when once again, I had limited talent, but I persevered, and really loved music too.

In the end of her life, she had a yellow canari, who was singing very joyfully. She told me he was keeping her company and she liked him a lot. When her appartment got robbed, and a little later her bird died, this made her really very disturbed and sad, I remember she died shortly after. I thought she died because she was finally overcome with too much grief.

Picture 2

Her name was Cécile.

This is my third surname, and I like it very much.

 

See my other posts of the series:

Genealogy and Family Trees

Three generations away

Generations

Random facts about my judaism

Genealogy and family trees

This post is part of ROOTS – a series that originates on BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo – see what others are posting on the topic.

Roots: they are the stories that ground you, the food that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you. Everyone has roots that influence them, even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – Prompt:

Are you interested in genealogy?  Do you have a family tree constructed?

I have always found family trees fascinating.

I have several trees from different branches of our family available. They are not consolidated, and I realize that it is a passionate work if you want to dedicate yourself to it. It has certainly become easier thanks to modern technology and swift access to online database. Also contacting those who dedicate themselves to researching and collecting data is much easier now. But it is still awfully time consuming, so you need to set aside some time if you want to do it properly and seriously.

What I am mostly passionate about is relationships. I believe in connections. I believe in networks. I realize that our way of thinking is largely influenced by who we are connected to and how we connect. There are connections in our ancestry that we are absolutely not aware of, but they are still there, they are in our DNA and they do have an effect on us, mostly in physical traits of course, but they may have more than that as an influence to who we are and how we relate to our environment.

When I started a family of my own, little did I know about the family I was going to give my children and I gathered lots of documents because I felt it was important for them to know the history of their paternal family. Since their father left us when they were very little (in 2002) and we were divorced in 2004, I am glad I still have those documents with me, at least, it gives me a little bit of solace that I can pass them information if they ever want to learn about that side of their heritage, even though it will never make it up for having built a relationship with their father as they grow up.

Now, I am not an historian, and I simply stored those informations, as well as the other information scattered from the other branches of my family. I believe it would be time for me to sort all this out and put something together neatly and try to see if I can build a tree for myself, that does not go only one way. For the moment, if I follow what I got, I can go back to circa 1700 on my paternal lineage, because a historian did a fabulous work and published the result of his research in a 95 page document retelling the influence and destiny of a Jewish family from the Eastern part of France (Lorraine), mine. I learned a lot thanks to this document.

I watched Who Do You Think You Are? A NBC series that aired in 2010 and followed a celebrity on a journey to their family tree and heritage. The obvious partnership of the production with Ancestry.com made it a little constrained at times, – and annoying in my personal taste – but otherwise I enjoyed the concept and found it pleasant to follow, even if at times I found it too shallow: I learned histories that I was not familiar with and enjoyed seeing how they were portrayed in a very vivid, if not dramatic way. The fact that it was celebrities was not that useful for me, and I felt like some of the connections were fabricated for the sake of the production, but all in all, the stories were real, from real people who went through these amazing dramas in their lives, and it was such an interesting way to understand how history and geography have an impact on our ways of seeing our destiny.

I understand that the series, that was cancelled by NBC, will start over on TLC end of July this year. Ancestry.com is still sponsoring, so I don’t believe it will be as exciting as the concept promised in the first instances (don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Ancestry.com, but their marketing is appalling, if you want my honest opinion, and I like sponsors when they are more subtle in their call to actions). Also my interest in celebrities is extremely limited, but hopefully their ancestry has diverse backgrounds enough that it will keep me fascinated enough!

Family Tree of my children s  paternal lineage
A handmade Family Tree of my children’s paternal lineage as scribbled by their paternal grandmother on a kitchen table in 1999

On the topic of online genealogy sites, besides Ancestry.com which I cited already, you have Geni.com that is now part of MyHeritage.com and also Tribal Pages! Free accounts are limited, and paying accounts go from $2.00/month to 10 times that fee, so the range of service is pretty wide!

See my other posts of the series:

Three generations away

Generations

Random facts about my judaism