Saturday, 10 December 2011

That's A Big Ol' Can Of Worms Ms. Dirty's Opened

You may remember I said I would be participating in Sviata Vechera for the Solstice after Ms. Dirty threw down the Holy Supper gauntlet. In order to do this and make merry with the beloved dead in a style that would be appreciated I needed to hunt out some suitable recipes that my family past would enjoy. Simple? You'd think so wouldn't you? A quick trawl through a few old recipe books and off to the kitchen to cook myself into a stupor. The only problem with that was that when I really sat down and thought about it I realised I actually knew very little about my roots. It would make things a whole lot easier if I knew who my family actually were.

So now I have family tree fever for which there is no known cure. It doesn't matter how many generations back I go (five so far on my Mum's side) it is never enough. This has the makings of a life long obsession, especially as the historian in me isn't satisfied with names, dates and places. I want (NEED) to put meat on the bones. How did they live, love, make merry and die? What were the skeletons in their cupboards. We all have a few of those, don't we? Our ancestors were no different. Its been a frustrating, intriguing and wonderful journey so far and I've only just scratched the surface.

Fortunately my Dad's reluctance to talk about his family doesn't seem to have extended to the rest of my relations. My mum has been a big help and I have great-uncles and distant cousins who have been invaluable. I just wish we had all been having this conversation when more of them were alive.

I have a branch of the family that come from the Norfolk/Suffolk area when I had always believed they had lived in my home town in the midlands for generations. As it turns out my Grandad was the first to move there.
I never knew one of my Great Grandfather's died in Iraq in WWI and is buried in the War cemetery in Basra!
The grandmother I had always been told came from St Bee's didn't. I'm currently trying to find out if she ever lived there at all as she certainly wasn't born there. I was worried for a while that my family history was in fact, family myth. But it seems the approximate area was right, but she was born farther up the coast. And the unusual middle name my uncle had which really didn't fit with the Ian's and Peter's and David's dotted throughout the rest of the family and has confused everyone for years, turns out to have been my great-grandmother's maiden name.
There is definitely an Irish connection, but not where I expected, and it's looking increasingly likely there may be some Scottish ancestry too.

Its all good stuff but its really thrown a spanner in the works regarding Holy Supper. My head's spinning and I'm not sure where to start. Either I'm going to have to concentrate on just one branch, or there are going to be an awful lot of courses in this meal...

...looks like I'll be spending an awful lot of time in my kitchen.


  1. It's so cool that your finding out about your family tree. How are you going about doing that?
    Do you use the internet? I know very little about my fathers side except that their American Indian and English.

  2. Yes Natalie, I've used the internet quite a bit. My family gave me a good starting point with the things they could remember and from there I've used things like the census records.Its been really helpful with some branches but less so with others.