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Location: Viljandi, Estonia

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

We're Welsh?!?

If you haven't figured it out by now, genealogy is a major hobby of mine. That's because I naturally distrust what people tell me and have a very real desire to find out the "truth." I guess that's why I am a reporter.

Doing genealogy is not a sort of "all fun" business. It's actually pretty interesting, but also intimidating. You don't want to tell your Irish grandmother that she's actually a little bit English (!) or tell your Dad that, yes, his grandma was Greek, but her family had been probably living in Italy for at least 100 years before she was born. People don't like to hear that stuff. Americans want to wear national flags on their coats the same way people have the patches of sports teams on their jackets in the subways.

So, then it shouldn't surprise us that two of Marta's ancient ancestors hailed not from England, as I was told, but actually from Wales. You know, Wales - that sort of lumpy bit on the west side of Great Britain where Tom Jones is from? Where they speak that weird Celtic language with all the "l"s and "g"s and "w"s. Where "Welsh" in Welsh is "Cymru."

My grandmother's maiden name was Margaret Elizabeth Howell Pittman - and she comes from a long line of Virginian and North Carolinian cousin-marrying farmers. But the root ancestor of Pittmans in Virginia is actually a man named Thomas Pittman - who was born in Monmouthshire, Wales, in 1614 and came to Virginia in about 1650. The common ancestor of Howells in the area is a man named Etheldred Howell, who was born in Flintshire, Wales, in 1668. In fact, many of his descendents also bore the name "Etheldred" - shortened just to "Dred."

So, like, we're a bit Welsh too. It gets so messy when you deal with the UK and Ireland. It seems like everybody's a bit of everything.


Blogger Kaur said...

And George W Bush is a finn.

Translation (from George W Bush is believed to have had a Swedish forefather named Måns Andersson, probably living in Värmland. In Finland a new theory is presented that George W Bush's Swedish forefather may in fact have been Finnish.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Martasmimi said...

It's too bad that he isn't the President Of Finland..

2:43 PM  

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