DAY 23 PROMPT: If you could meet one of your main characters or ideal reader anywhere in the world for coffee, drinks, dinner, or a caramel, who would it be, where would you meet them, and why?
It was actually my son who took the genealogy study so much farther than I had. Hitting those walls almost immediately, I had no clue how or where to proceed, and pretty much shut down. Mark, on the other hand, joined Ancestry.com and used the resources to their fullest extent including the offer of a DNA test for $99.
My paternal grandmother was born on the Chippewa reservation leased from Cherokee land in the midwest. Told all my life that part was handed down along with French/German (which made sense) and Swedish and Irish on my maternal side, I was shocked when the test revealed no such results.
Would you rather know where you came from or stay in blissful ignorance?
(Ever seen the show “Who Do You Think You Are?”)
Those of us old enough to remember Kirk Douglas as the fearsome Einar in the 1958 movie “The Vikings” (also known as Norsemen) perhaps received a romantic message about these fierce, seafaring warriors. They surfaced approximately AD 800 and for more than three centuries went about conquering most of the then known (and unknown) world, including the British Isles, and much of the European continent as well as Greenland and Newfoundland.
Vineland (Old Norse Vínland) is the name of coastal North America explored by Norse Vikings, where Leif Erikson first landed in ca. 1000, approximately five centuries prior to the voyages of Christopher Columbus! An “Irish Viking”–yes, I could go for that! Not a specific “race”, most were more collectively known as coming from the areas now known as Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. AH!
And ergo the problem.
My son had no problem tracing the paternal side back on U.S. soil practically to the first ship arriving after the Mayflower. We know they fought in the Revolutionary as well as the Civil War. Grandma Rose–100% Swedish–we know exactly from where she hailed and have contacts there! But Grandpa Rose, Patrick John Rose, J. Wesley Rose, Stanley McShane? No clue.
If I could, I’d pin him down right there in Long Beach near the ocean he loved; perhaps in the park where we took bread crumbs to feed the pigeons that last time I saw him and I’d start asking questions–explain the contradictions in your manuscripts! His real name might answer a few questions and from there, where he was actually born–really. He had an Irish brogue that never waivered, wasn’t faked. But my DNA doesn’t lie.