Have you ever researched your Family Tree?
I’ve been having fun this week climbing among the many branches of mine on a helpful site called FamilySearch.org. My friend Daniel put me onto this tremendous resource; thanks, Daniel!
My father’s side of the family is firmly English and Welsh. But I learned this week that we are also Scottish and Irish. The bulk of my family’s records are from this side, thanks to various ancestors who tended the tree, enabling us descendants to trace our family back to the 800s.
And I have just discovered that hiding behind some of the tree’s many leaves are assorted famous ancestors!
Imagine my delight when I found that most of them have literary or artistic connections. So . . .
According to FamilySearch.org and my initial findings, here are some of my distant cousins who were Literary Luminaries: Edgar Allan Poe (“The Raven”); Mark Twain (Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn); The Bronte Sisters (Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre); Agatha Christie (Poirot and Marple mysteries); Lord George Gordon Byron (“Don Juan”); Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice); Louisa May Alcott (Little Women); Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), and Abraham “Bram” Stoker (Dracula).
And since I mentioned Frankenstein and Dracula, I think it’s fitting that another cousin is the late actor Lon Chaney, Jr., who played the Wolfman (as well as the Frankenstein monster and Dracula) in many Universal Studios movies in the 1940s. Oh, and what about actor Boris Karloff, who famously played Frankenstein’s creation? He married my ninth cousin!
All this information has enriched my appreciation of literature, reading, writing, and those old classic monster films! And I have long wondered why I love to write and can effortlessly disappear into magical realms and Gothic musings. Perhaps I’ve been hearing whispers from my ancestors . . .
So, get a clue, Readers. Who could be hiding in your family tree that might add extra dimension to your life? Give it a shake and find out. May you, too, have wonderful discoveries!