Monday, October 10, 2011

Branches on our Family Tree

I think I may say this every week.
I love Monday Listicles!
And this week, I Love, Love, Big Squishy heart Love this prompt! I apologize if I write that every week, but when somethings good, it's good!
In case you are new here, or live under a rock, Stasha at the Good Life hosts a weekly link up with her famous Listicles. This week we're encouraged to write of "10 family tree related things".
If you know anything of my family in real life, you know we've got quite the family so you can imagine my excitement with this list!

10 Facts about our Family Tree

1. Our family likes to reproduce

Usually you hear adages about large Italian or Irish Catholic families, however in our case, I come from long lines of large Polish/Slovak families. My mom is one of six. My father is one of eight.  Every one of my aunts and uncles except one has at least one child, most have two or three. My uncle Jim has seven.
Throw in my grandparents siblings, my parents cousins, and their children and what have you got?
No family related function is small. 
Poor Bry when we were wedding planning.

2. Grandparents' marriage stories. 

Legend has it, my father's parents HAD to get married. (wink, nod) 
While my mother's parents eloped after only dating a few months.
Funny, all of their children had traditional weddings.  

3. President Adams'

My mom swears my grandmother's lineage can be related back to John Adams & John Q. Adams. I have yet to see the paperwork on that one, however it makes for a good story.

4. Military Service

Both grandfathers served in World War II. Pop-Pop L as a cook in the Army, while Pop-Pop D was a seaman in the navy. Both my father and his brother, Paul were drafted into service during Vietnam. Uncle Paul followed my grandfather's footsteps and became a cook too. Somehow, someway, my dad ended up in military intelligence.
We still are trying to figure that one out.

5. Names

If you're pregnant, I've got a suggestion for a name. Go with Steven, Paul, Frank, Joseph, Kathy, or Marie. 
In our family that appears to be the naming guidelines, hence Uncle Joe, dad Joe, Brother Joey, Uncle Jimmy, Little Jimmy, Pop-Pop Paul, Uncle Paul, cousin Paul Michael, Mom-Mom Marie, Aunt Marie, Pop-Pop Frank, Uncle Frank, Great uncle Frank, Cousin Kathy,cousin in law Kathy, &  great cousin Kathy.
Then there's the Steve conundrum: 
 Uncle Steve, Great uncle Steve , Cousin Steve, Second cousin Steve, Uncle Steven (or Steve-out if you're Mo),  and Bry's best friend who is Uncle Steve too.

And people ask why we chose Moira & Maeve?

6. Small Town Ties

Both our families have very strong and deep ties to my hometown, as both sets immigrated here five generations ago. Our town, originally a steel town, gave refuge to a large group of Eastern Europeans. Lots of Slovaks- like both my grandfathers, a bunch of Poles- like Mom-Mom L.  and then the Irish/Welsh mixes like Mom-Mom D.

7. My Parents Courtship

Baseball brought my parents together, so it only seems appropriate they are the Phillies fans that they are today. 
My dad coached Babe Ruth baseball and had both his youngest brother and my mom's middle brother on his team. My mom, being nearly 8 years younger would go out to the field to watch the games and would swoon over my father. Eventually they started dating and the rest is history. 
Family legend has it that their wedding reception, the last to be hosted at the Slovak Club, was wild and crazy.

8. Teaching & Health care

These professions are prolific in our family, and not just for the woman. Besides myself and my brother, there are three other members with teaching certification, while nursing has been a field that at least five close relatives have chosen, one cousin is a respiratory therapist and then, of course, there's my sister, Auntie Doctor G.

9. The Traditions

I have mentioned before that there are quite a number of Polish/Slovak traditions that have been lost over time. Mainly as the generations have passed, so has our ability to speak the native tongue. Except of course, for a few choice words. My girls now know two polish words: that for butt & sit.
Really what else do you need?

10. Our Story

I met someone from "elsewhere", which seemed to expand the family tree. We chose not to place our roots in my hometown. 
 We're crazy like that.
Now, all these stories from above are being mixed and melded with Bry's family tree to create our own tree. Those stories, those roots will have an important part as will those stories Bry shares, giving our girls their own unique family tree. As greater cultural mutts then I, they've got a lot of learning to do!


  1. You chose Moira and Maeve, but you stuck with the "M" in Marie. So you are a traditionalist! I love family history. Yours sounds fun and layered. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love big, crazy family get togethers. Our family is not huge, but we always manage to find other people to invite along. Last night our dinner included my family, my husband's family and my brother in law's family. We had 13 for dinner and getting the family picture was an exercise in flexibility.

  3. The Steve bit made me laugh hard. Love how your girls are mutts. My Husband is from a big family and I brought three family members into marriage :) great list Jackie. And thank you for the sweet intro!

  4. We are tree sisters! There ain't nothin' like a Polish family party. Nothin! Love it :)

  5. Big crazy families are THE best!!! Love it, Jackie :)

  6. Gosh there sure are a lot of Slovaks and Eastern Europeans doing Stasha's linky! (Just an observation...)
    You are lucky to have such a huge extended family and to all be so close - those weddings make the best kind! (-: Glad you liked this topic, I loved your post.

  7. Loving to reproduce is a good thing - I love big families! That was so funny with the names and I also like how your parents met :)

  8. Love it! Love the richness of the history, the stories, the traditions. I love a great big family!

  9. lol - #1 and the whole name roots.

    It is true, there are families that do not have the word "reproduction" as part of their resume.

  10. I think it's wonderful that you know so much about your family tree, and that you are keeping the stories alive!

  11. The name thing is crazy! We have 3 Britt's we called them Britt, 3, and Bubba:)

  12. Great post! The big Polish family reminds me a lot of the big Italian family I have on my dad's side. And our names throughout the family are Mario, Tony, Frank & Tony :) And I love your last statement about melding the two families.

  13. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing. Being Polish born myself, I could relate with quite a bit of it.

  14. Love your story..especially about names...The Hubbys name is Steve lol....I chose different names too..daughter is Raime and son is Justin (a little more common now but wasn't then).


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