The Post About My College Boyfriend Possibly Being My Cousin

I'm 100% influenced by what I watch.

When I watch So You Think You Can Dance, I start krumping in the dining room.

When I watch Rachael Ray, I buy tomato paste in a tube and place garbage in a bowl.

When I watch Sherlock, I try to deduce your hobbies from your tan lines.

So when I stumbled upon Who Do You Think You Are?, a show about celebrities tracing their family trees, I was determined to find my ancestors.

These are my grandparents. OR it's Amanda from Mandie Marie and Joseph from The Greatest Blog of All Time.

To start the search, I did exactly what the TV voice-over told me to do - sign up at Ancestry.com.

I committed to the 14-day trial and became obsessed. Thankfully, plenty of cousins and other distant relatives had already done the heavy lifting to help me trace my tree.

And yes, although I am from Alabama, my family tree DID fork.

This is just a sample of the 2000 people who are currently in my "Golden" family tree.

I'd like to share a little of what I learned about myself through this fascinating and ongoing process. 

1. My love for Alabama is genuine. Both my paternal and maternal families date back to living in Jefferson, Alabama since the late 1700s. Roll Tide.

2. Southern by birth and breeding. My family has roots in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina after descending from colonies in Virginia. So I can say with all credibility, "Missouri should not be in the SEC."

3. Lee Greenwood was right. I'm proud to be an American. My 13th grandfather, Richard Warren, settled in Plymouth Colony and was among ten passengers of the Mayflower landing party with Myles Standish at Cape Cod on November 11, 1620. He signed the Mayflower Compact. Like a boss.

Rabbit sidebar for my mother: We WILL be dressing as pilgrims this Thanksgiving.

4. History ain't pretty. Since my Grandpa Richie was a pilgrim, it's likely he stole land from Native Americans. I have family who fought in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, World War I, II, Korean War, Vietnam, and so on. My family owned slaves. And they treated people as such. Hopefully, we've learned a few lessons from our past.

5. My attraction to pirates is genetic. My 11th grandmother secretly married a private buccaneer after her father was granted land by the English crown for having hunted them in the 1600's. Daddy-daughter drama.

6. The 2012 Olympics will be a chance for both my countries to shine. My maternal and paternal lines all descend from England. As if my pasty skin and love for potatoes would have led me to a different conclusion. 

7. This blog would make my relatives proud. I have emulated the nonsensical writing styles of my 18th grandfather, Geoffrey Chaucer, and my 8th cousin, Edgar Allan Poe. The end.

Have you searched for your relatives? Have you discovered any black sheep or white sheep or pirate sheep?

{image: with permission from Amanda of Mandie Marie}

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