Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sunday Search: Familiar Faces

When my mom and I were looking through some of the family photos last weekend there were a number of times when we could easily see some other family members in the faces of the ancestors who have long since left us. And it was interesting as to when it would hit us as there was really no guarantee whether the person’s name or the current counterpart would be thought of first. At the same time, there wasn’t any certainty as to which one of us would make the connection either.

In some instances my mom would tell me who someone was in the photo and then follow up with something along the lines of “I didn’t realize how much your cousin looks like her.” There were other times when I would see either an aunt, uncle, or cousin in one of the people and as soon as my mom told me who they were it made complete sense. And, of course, there were various combinations of this throughout our time with the album on the table in front of us.

While it is certainly clear to those who know my family, I get much of my looks from my father’s side of the family. However, in looking through the photos with my mom I could see a little piece of myself in some of the pictures. I noticed a couple of little things like my hair line and posture but what really stood out to me, which I knew of before, was the handwriting that was on the backs of many of the photos. While my looks may be predominantly from my dad’s side, my handwriting is, without question, from my mom’s side.

Sometimes these ties are really what make looking through old photos in particular so interesting. On the surface you are putting faces to names but on a completely different level you are finding yourself and many of your other family members in little pieces of the past. It just goes to show that your family, your whole tree, plays a big role in who you are regardless of what you might think. This, of course, is in addition to the obvious genetic traits that we carry. Sometimes it is in the simple things like looks but sometimes it can be in other ways like handwriting, the way you hold yourself, and your demeanor.

For better or worse, I kind of have a mix of all those things. There are little pieces from both sides that I carry with me every day. And I am certain that there are many other similarities that I have yet to discover with some of my ancestors. So you can look at genealogy as pulling together the family history or you can look at it as finding pieces of yourself. For me, it is definitely a little of both.