Family history can rear a gruesome head these days of DNA testing. Things come out. Items can no longer be hidden. And somber truths about ancestors are revealed. That idiot tenth cousin of yours who starts emailing you from Estonia wanting to know about common ancestors. The person from Alabama who asks if you’d host your 3rd cousins twice removed on their visit to the Boston area. Perhaps one should never have spit into the little vial, after all?
In my family’s case, it cleared up some mysteries by solidifying historical and genealogical research I’d already done. The Carreras family; seamen, jewelers, and merchants from Catalonia; in my specific family, that meant Girona, and the record of Louis’, Nicholas’, and Josep’s ( or Jose) stretched further back than I could research.
Bur most records for my mother’s little Caribean island were destroyed in a hurricane. Birth, death, marriage, and baptismal records were scarce. Here is where things get interesting. The island tradition has it that all the Robinsons were descended from a first mate on a ship in Morgan’s privateering fleet. On the way to the sack of Panama City, they took over the island as a base. On the way home Robinson decided to settle and raise a family there.
A little further research came up with the gem that the original colony had been founded by the second ship sent out by the same company that sent the Pilgrims to Cape Cod. But, in this case, they went way south, and those Puritans went bad; rapidly. They become the neer-do-wells of the Puritan faith. They actively engaged in piracy and other disreputable affairs.
I advocate paying less attention to DNA and more to the dastardly deeds of our ancestors. It’s actually a hell of a lot more interesting. It’s not how far back your family goes, but how interesting they are…or in the case of my mother’s family – Arrrr Mate