Saturday, March 14, 2009

Heritage – HOTM Meme – March 14, 2009

 HOTM Heritage: Something that is passed down from preceding generations; a tradition.

When I think about family heritage I know that I am very blessed to have great-grandparents (mostly deceased) that all came to America in their lifetimes. The traditions have not faded from my family yet. I was raised with a very rich knowledge of where I came from and am able to tell my children the first and second hand accounts of where our traditions came from. I am a third generation American and being raised in Texas there aren’t many people I know that can say this. My husband, in fact, can trace his family almost all the way back to the beginning of this country, while I know where to find the Ellis Island records for mine. What is your heritage? Where did your family begin? Did they spread like the wind or stay fairly close to one another? Do you have unique traditions that each generation has upheld? What is the legacy you leave to future generations?

This week’s Heart of the Matter Meme is supposed to be a video meme, but since making a video requires multiple steps for me, I’m just going to do a regular post.

My family’s heritage is Irish, English, and American Indian.  My father’s family can trace it’s roots back to Ireland, and my cousin has visited family there.  Our ancestor came to the US and settled in Alabama in the early to mid 1800s.  The rest of the family is centered in the Louisiana-East Texas area.  I remember that my family was originally Catholic when they arrived, but converted at some point to Protestantism.  Now, one of the regular activities at family reunions is singing hymns around the piano.

My mother’s family heritage is less easily traced.  I do know that my grandfather was a hobo for a while before he got married.  That’s pretty cool.  My grandmother’s family was American Indian from eastern Louisiana.  I grew up in Florida while my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc were all in Mississippi and Louisiana, so I didn’t know many of them well.  In addition, one set of grandparents had died before I was born, and the other set died before my teen years, so I didn’t know them well.  I visit my extended family regularly but am still closest to my parents and brother.

A few years ago, I started doing an oral history of my family, but got distracted and let it drop.  I need to restart that.  My mother had 11 siblings, so we had a lot of ground to cover!!

The heritage that I want to pass on to my children is the love for the Lord that their grandparents have.  I grew up in a home where I knew that God was real and that He loved me.  I want my kids to know that.  Of course, I also want them to know the books of the Bible, lots of Bible verses, Bible stories, and lots of theology, but I mostly want them to know Jesus.  A big part of the reason for my faith is the home in which I was raised.  I want to pass that on to my children.

What is your heritage?  What legacy do you want to leave your children?  Check out Heart of the Matter Online to see what others have said!

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