Messed-Up Families Have Trees, Too (Part 1)


This has the potential to turn into a long blog. I’ll do my best to keep it from turning into a long story turned longer… but I do need to include some personal history, so please bear with me.

What I’m Doing
For the past week, I have been trying to research my family ancestry. No, I haven’t converted to Mormonism… although, I do appreciate their excellent family-record keeping skills. There are reasons for doing this and reasons for not having done it before.

Why am I Doing This?
As I was lying in bed last Sunday, unsuccessfully fighting off the onset of a cold, I saw a news report about a group of Cherokee Indians in San Diego County getting together for the day to celebrate their culture. This caught my attention because, supposedly, I have a small amount of Cherokee blood running through my veins. It also occurred to me that I have no proof of this Native American ancestry. So, I figured I might as well try to find it.

What Makes this a Difficult Task?
Here is where the story has the potential to get overly long. I come from a pretty messed-up family. Basically, I don’t know most of my family. I haven’t seen my biological mom in over 30 years… I don’t associate with any of my living grandparents because my two grandmothers are not very nice people.

I have four full-blooded siblings. I have relationships with none of them. I have a half-brother and a half-sister and they are awesome, so we are pretty close. I have some uncles, aunts, and cousins but I don’t really know them because they live in other states.

I pretty much grew up with my Dad and my Stepmom. I know I can get some information about my Dad’s side of the family… but even that will be scarce, due to fact that my Dad didn’t even really know his dad. Heck, the last name I grew up with isn’t even my Dad’s real last name- the story is my Dad took the last name of his favorite step dad (my grandmother was married five times).

Thanks to a kind step-grandfather I never met, my maiden name was Kish. This is apparently a common Hungarian name. I am zero percent Hungarian. I dated a guy who was Hungarian once but that’s as close as I ever came to being one. I’ve never felt any attachment to that name… I felt no remorse when I became a Jones on my wedding day. Besides, nobody could ever pronounce or spell it. It’s just not that hard, people!

Get Out the Violins…
I’m just kidding… leave them in their cases. I really dislike pity and I don’t want it but I’m going to tell you all something sort of sad about me. Growing up, I never really felt like I belonged to a family. There I said it. Now, wipe your eyes and read on. I always felt like I was on the peripheral of someone else’s family… sort of able to be a part but never feeling totally connected.

I’m sure I am totally messed-up now as a result. I mean, this has got to be the reason I can never seem to get the clean laundry put away. Right? Go along with it, folks… I need an excuse.

Cliff-hanger

I’m going to finish this tomorrow. I’m tired and I’m still trying to get over this cold so I’m off to bed. If you are still reading this, thanks for hanging in with me. I still have lots to tell about my search for a familial identity… including a trip to a cemetery, walks down memory lane, and lots and lots of time spent on the computer.

Meanwhile, please enjoy this picture of the bottom of my shoe.

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