Ancestors

Native American Heritage Day

Actually, all of November (since 1990) is Native American Heritage Month and the day after Thanksgiving is the specific day declared as a holiday in recognition of that heritage. I bring this up since although I am 99.7% of European ancestry, there is a 0.3% trace of “Indigenous American” and “Broadly East Asian” in my DNA report. This ratio of trace ancestry is corroborated by the segment of my Ancestry tree shown below.

Fourth through Sixth Level Great Grandparents

This tree segment shows my 4th Great Grandfather J. S. Conaway, his parents and grandparents. My Native American Ancestor is simply shown as “Choctaw Wife” and I have not been able to find any more information about her other than what is shown. Mathematically, that works out to be that I am likely 1/256th Native American. To be recognized as a Choctaw Tribal Member, however, I would have to have at least one Great-Grandparent that was a full-blooded Choctaw. I’m not even close.

If the 1/256th ratio is true, then I have four times the Native heritage than does Senator Elizabeth Warren, so-called “Fauxcahontas,” who misrepresented herself as being of sufficient Native ancestry when applying for special college enrollment perks while being only 1/1024th Native American.

Damsel also has DNA results showing her Native American Ancestry, but we have as yet to trace her lineage in as much detail as my family tree. One of her sisters has that detail, but we can’t directly access it yet. We do know that one of her Great-Great Grandmothers was at least part Native American.

So, even though it is in greater vogue to call this day “Black Friday,” We reach out to our Native American cousins and wish them all a Happy Native American Heritage Day.

Samhain Celtic Cross-Quarter Feast

Samhain is the cross-quarter day that marks the halfway point between Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice. The day was traditionally considered to be the “end of summer” by ancient ancestors in northwestern Europe and the British Isles. Samhain is observed worldwide by Wiccan and Pagan cultures*.

Damsel and I both have had our DNA tested by two of the popular on-line Genealogy entities and their conclusions are that we both have significant branches in our family trees that trace back to the areas where this holiday and other cross-quarter events were and are celebrated. We have traces of DNA from other parts of the world, but our European ancestry is very much in the majority.

So, since it is a feast, then feast we shall. Our “feast” consisted of traditional corned beef and cabbage with turnips, brussels sprouts and carrots. “Traditional” in the case of this meal means that it traces back to our Irish American ancestors; the dish would have been pork, potatoes and soda bread with trimmings back in the old country. I read that pork was too expensive for poor immigrants and that corned brisket filled the entrée role. We choose turnips rather than potatoes because of the lower carbohydrate count. I don’t notice the difference.

So, wherever you are and whatever your traditions, we hope you enjoyed the weekend and maybe got to feast a bit.

Image excerpt above taken from the Archaeoastronomy website.

* Disclaimer — we are neither Wiccan nor Pagan but celebrate the feast because of our heritage. Of course, we celebrate Christian events as well when they come up.

Mise Èireannach

The title is Gaelic for “I Am Irish.” While that assertion is partially correct, both the wife and I are descendants of Scots, Irish, Welsh and English for the most part with traces of Native American and other (mostly) European ancestors. With all that disclosure out of the way, we will identify as Irish this week when we celebrate the cross-quarter feast of Beltane, about halfway between spring equinox and summer solstice.

Modern cultures that recognize Beltane typically celebrate on May Day (01 May), but the actual cross-quarter doesn’t occur until the fifth of May which is coincident with “Cinco de Mayo,” but since we have no Hispanic ancestry that we could find, we’re going with the Celtic celebration. However, due to our busy and crowded schedule as retirees, we have to postpone the festivities until the weekend (of May 07/08). Weekends are when we usually celebrate midweek holidays.

So, we will celebrate Beltane by having a traditional Irish dinner entrée of Shepherd’s Pie. Damsel found a simple recipe for “upside-down” shepherd’s pie, so we will be preparing it that way. We may also indulge in an Irish Cocktail at that time.

Sunday the 8th is, of course, Mother’s Day. Most of us retirees will wish our heavenly Mom’s a happy day in Heaven. Our Sunday meal will be Grilled Tri-Tip roast with braised cabbage and asparagus.

Cheers and Happy Cinco de Beltane to all the Mothers and Others out there.

Beltane – A Celtic Cross Quarter

beltane3.jpgThis 5th of May, 2021, Damsel and I have decided to skip the traditional “Cinco de Mayo” and celebrate “Beltane” instead. The Cross-Quarter day (midway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice) of Beltane, an ancient Celtic day of importance, occurs on May 5th this year according to the “Grand Octal Clock” which can be seen at the Archaeoastronomy.com website.

So, to celebrate the Celtic First Day of the Summer Season, we will be preparing a traditional Irish dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage along with some boiled vegetables. I know, we just had that on March 17th for St. Patrick’s Day, but we like to have this meal more than once a year.

I discussed our Irish Ancestry in a post on St. Patrick’s Day last year. I also have English, Welsh, Scottish and some other mixed Northern European heritage along with a couple of Italians and one Choctaw great6th grandmother. Doing the math, that Indian ancestor qualifies me for Native American heritage benefits four times greater than Senator Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren. Of course, I wouldn’t do that – I’m not a Democrat.

So, since neither Damsel nor I have any Hispanic Genealogy, we will probably be more inclined to celebrate Beltane than Cinco de Mayo in the future on May the 5th. That being said, we will still, of course, indulge in Tex/Mex Cuisine from time to time.

Happy (Insert Your Preferred 3/5 Celebration Here) to you!

Remembering Kate on Her Birthday

Morro Rock

We remember our Mom, Kate, on more occasions than just her birthday, but today she would have turned 101. She passed from us in September of 2013 and we still miss her.

The image above is of Morro Rock in the California town of Morro Bay. It’s a charming place to visit and the rock is where Kate wanted her cremains to be distributed. We can’t see the rock without thinking about Kate. She always told us how much she loved that place on the Pacific Coast west of San Luis Obispo, CA.

Image courtesy of Damsel taken 24 July 2009 at Morro Bay. Click on the image to enlarge.

Out of respect for our Mom, we will refrain from inserting a rant here about the liberal slimes running the show out in K-Stan these days and how we are reluctant to visit in person.

Flag Day 2020

Flag Day 2020

We would have our USA flag up and flying today except that the winds are forecast to be gusts to 35 which is a bit much for our little flagpole and very hard on the flags themselves (we also fly the AZ state banner). Regardless, for the Flag Day occasion, I dug out this photo of our flag (proudly flying atop the pole) which I took last month with my little SL1 Canon Rebel and the EF 100-400 telephoto lens. Click on the image to enlarge.

We take this occasion to salute the Red, White and Blue, regardless of all the turmoil being reported in the media. Our little niche of desert space and the surrounding community are mostly in normal mode save for minor COVID-19 effects on some businesses and facilities. We have no riots, no looting, no edicts handed arbitrarily down from government bureaucrats and have enjoyed a nice relaxing environment here at home and in town. We thank God Almighty for those blessings.

On a different topic, Damsel and I were tested for our DNA through Ancestry and discovered our “roots.” The results weren’t much of a surprise since our sisters had already done this and shared the results, but it was an interesting experience to locate distant DNA matched possible relatives. I have been building my family tree and the links they provide are quite helpful. In the hobby sense, it is an interesting undertaking to find some of our closet “skeletons.” I have no intent of mentioning any of that here, but the whole genealogy quest has been sort of fun and interesting. YMMV

So, to those patriotic Americans who take the Flag Day occasion to revere and celebrate our Nation as envisioned by the Founders, enjoy the day for what it is – a celebration of our heritage, our legacy and, God willing, the future greatness of America and the Flag for which it stands.