ETH 125 October 30, 2010 Axia College (Origin) When thinking about my family and our roots I identify my family’s places or origin as Germany and Ireland. A majority of my family is of German ancestry and the one exception is my grandmother and she is Irish. I identify these too places as where my family came from due to stories that I have hear from family members and to the traits that each member of my family carries. A majority of my family are all blonde hair, with blue or brown eyes which have a lot of similarities to people from Germany.
My family as very few of the traits from the Irish side but the only ones the I have been told are that some people in our family freckle a lot when they have been out in the sun for long periods of time. As for knowing anything about why or how my ancestors came to the United States it is pretty much a mystery to me. It is something that has never really been talked about much. I do know that my grand parents on my mother’s side of the family ended up living in Texas as that is where the rest of my grandfathers family was living and my grandmother was originally from Alabama.
As far as my father’s side of the family is concerned I have never heard much about where they lived before Texas. I would love to know more about my family but have not been able to get anyone to open up about much when trying to talk to them(F. Adams/S. Richie/L. Adams Personal communication, October 2010). (Foods) As far as foods that my family prepares there is nothing that really comes to mind except for one recipe for sweet potato pie that I have been told was my great-great-grandmother recipe and has been passed down through the family.
I have talked my mom and grandmother about this and this is the only thing that they said. I was told that the reason that this is made for all holidays and every time families get together to celebrate something is because that it was something that my great great grandmother said symbolized family and the work that a family does together. It has been passed down that the crust was like the love within a family and what held them together and that each ingredient represented a different part of our family.
I do not know if this is something that was normal with in Germany or if it is something that was started when my family came to the USA, but it is the only food that we prepare that shows any of our family history (L. Adams personal communication October 2010). (Celebrations) Our family does not celebrate any thing that I know of that is part of our heritage. I think that most of the family celebrations that were based on things from Germany died or stopped being celebrated after my great grandparents died.
My family is very much a mystery to me still and I have tried to find out more things as I have worked on this paper but have ran into a brick wall when I have tried to talk to people about our family history. (Language) Growing up my grandfather spoke German sometimes; he always said that he did not want to let that part of who our family is go. Since my grandfather has died I am the only one in the family that is fluent in German and I have the same belief he does. Our family spoke an older dialect of German that is not really that different form normal German but has its differences.
A few years ago I was in Germany visiting a friend and was talking to someone in German and they knew the dialect that I was speaking and were able to tell me that it was only spoken in very small area of southern Germany. I think that most of my family did not want to take the time to learn the language and become proficient at it. My mom does speak some but is not able to carry on a conversation in the language. Keeping up with this part of my families heritage has actually helped me in my life with being able to fly different routes at work and make extra money by speaking the language (H.
Wiese Personal Communication July 1999). (Health Beliefs/Interventions) My family has such a wide belief of what the cause of illness or poor health is that it becomes confusing at times. One thing that I have heard that they all agree on is that it is heredity and we are cursed by out ancestors. As I have gotten older and noticed that I have had to deal with some of the same things that my parents have had to deal with health wise I have started to believe them and develop the same opinions and beliefs of why.
One treatment that my family uses is when you have a sore throat and it does not matter on your age, they give you a hot tottie that is tea, lemon, whiskey, and a drop of honey. Every time growing up when I had a sore throat this is what my mom would give me and my brothers and it would help tremendously. Another thing that I remember is something that would be used for sunburns during the summer and my grandmother would mix fresh aloe with a damp oatmeal and smear it on the area that was burned until it dried.
She always said that it would help to take the burn out and to keep our skin from becoming dry and peeling. I think that each of these is cultural in nature and something that has been passed down from each generation to our family (L. Adams/S. Richie Personal communication October 2010). (Discrimination) When it comes to discrimination I have heard several stories of how members of my family where discriminated against for employment during World War Two. The one I remember most is a story that my grandfather told me about not being given a job due to the fact that he looked German.
He told me that he was trying to get a construction job at a local bank that was owned by a Jewish family. They said that they refused to have someone who was German work for them and that he should never step foot on their property again. The people who owned the bank discriminated against him due to the fact that he looked German and he was of German descent. With everything that was going on in Europe at the time it is understandable why they would do what they did. Even though it was wrong they were retaliating against people of German descent.
I think that if this was something that would have happened today that the discrimination would have not happen as people would be able to tell the difference in how someone would act and not hold there heritage against them(H. Wiese personal communication July 1999). (Information/Personal communication) When getting the information to write this paper I spoke to several different people in my family. The first person that I spoke to was my grandmother and my dad’s side of the family, she knows a lot about our family history and I was able to get as much from her on the phone as I could in a short period of time.
The second person that I spoke to was my grandmother on my mom’s side of the family, but I was not able to gain much information from her as she has just recently suffered a stroke. I spent time talking to my mother and father they were able to help me gain some information that I needed but my family seems to be a mystery to everyone. I additionally used things that I remembered from speaking to my grandfather on my mom’s side of the family before he passed away. This paper has made me want to start to do my research on my family and find out more about them. References