Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The Black Count
While working on a long and in depth genealogy project while living in Germany I discovered that more than one branch of my family tree decided to leave their native land for better prospects elsewhere. Children left their parents to seek their fortunes in more fertile lands.
On my mother's side the Huguenots left because of persecution. On my father's side, I swear living near Calais, made it so from one day to the next they didn't know if they were under British or French rule. Eventually they just gave up and moved to Canada. Was that any better? Not really since they settled in the the French Province of Quebec and struggled for freedom there as well. Eventually they moved to NY.
While researching my paternal grandmother's side I found that her ancestors were primarily English with some Scots and Irish mixed in. Borders blur and families find themselves on opposite sides of borders over night. Sir Hugh Tirel can be traced back to William the Conquer. No wonder Grandma was an imposing figure of a woman; it was in her genes. Her ancestors fought in crusades. One of her ancestors was the Prince of Poix. No not the modern day Prince of Poix who is an offshoot of a different family entirely.
I have found that trying to figure out where I came from isn't as easy as it seems to be. It is more than just being born. It is hertiage. That heritage can be passed on through adoption and not just genetics. Discipline, teachings, familial relations, cultural influences all comprise what makes us who we are and who we will become.
Alexandre Dumas' works were heavily influenced by his father, also named Alexandre Dumas. In the biography The Black Count, author Tom Reiss tells how Dumas went from slavery to become the equivalent of a five star general in the French military. Join From Left to Write on October 11 as we discuss the The Black Count. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
[CD] The Black Count By Reiss, Tom (Google Affiliate Ad)