Who Are You? Who?

by Daniel Arthur J., January 26, 2014

Aarhus, Denmark, October, 2013

Aarhus, Denmark, October, 2013

Are you your surname? Let’s just say that you are much more than that, as cool as your last name might be.

Many of us have been raised with the idea that we are to honor our last name or surname. That is generally a good idea. Often we become very surname-centric about our concept of what our ancestry might be. Our ancestry is so much more complex and interesting than where our last name leads. We were thoughtfully loved by so many more ancestors than we might have ever imagined.

Most people realize that in the generally practiced naming convention of taking on the father’s last name, their mother is most likely to have a different last name. They usually don’t know any family names much beyond that. It is interesting to note that it is only in recent times that surnames have become handed down generation by generation. People used to take on surnames of all kinds prior to that, or they didn’t really use a surname as much as a second place name or just their name.

Whatever you were brought up as, you are much more than that. And, you are likely related to many, many more different ethnic backgrounds and races of people than you had thought of. If you are a Smith, Jones, Johnson, Williams or whatever, you have many other ancestors with many different backgrounds and names. Sure, some people have within recent generations become more homogenous than others, but the further you go back in time the more likely you are to find a grouping of very diverse ancestors.

I have looked at many family trees over the last year, and I have learned much about mine and the ancestors of others. I now associate many more names with my heritage including Ford, Franklin, Allen, Street, Raymond, Bosworth, Pearson, Sheldon, Hatch, Brown, Parker, Sims, Evans, James, Johnson, Morse, Mark, Davies, Sanford, Sinco, Gibson, Weeks, Choate, Laffoon, Riley, Phillips, and Pope. This is just but a few. I know I have descended from people from just about every country in Europe and have close or fairly close cousins from all over the Earth. And, it is amazing what they have been, done and accomplished, too.

Your name is worth honor, and your heritage is much greater than you can imagine You don’t need to know it with official verifiable documentation, but I wish you luck in finding out what you can. Honor each other.

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Yes, our government needs to balance the budget. In fact, we need to pay down the debt . . . lawmakers certainly expect voters to do so. We will spend more than we should at times, but we’ve got to pay it back. I think some people should pay more based on the ability-to-pay-principle.