"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Last Names, Genealogy, Ancestry Stuff

With Melania Trump in the news because she spoke at the RNC last night and, well, because she's married to Donald Trump who is unbelievably still to me The One destined to be the Republican nominee running against Hillary Clinton, I have seen stories on my Facebook feed about Slovenia, and Melania's hometown, and even Slovenians in Ohio (where the Republican National Convention is taking place.)

This reminded me of my brother in law, Will whom I've written about previously (probably more than once, but I don't have time to search my archives right now.)  Not because Will is Slovenian.  He's actually from Venezuela, but he has a Slovenian last name due to his aunt marrying a man from Ohio with a Slovenian last name.  Mari and Wayne adopted Will when he was about fifteen so he could live with them in the United States.  Will had a Spanish last name before the adoption.

I still sometimes marvel at how last names tell us about our heritage to some degree, but not always especially in the case of adoptions.  And unless you are some kind of genealogist who looks at who married whom or who didn't even marry, but passed along her last name to her children,  you only really have part of the picture because we forget that Prudence Cooley Truax's mom had a last name not passed down to her. So, what was it?

I ordered one of those Ancestry DNA kits recently when Ancestry.com had a sale around July 4. They are probably pretty bogus in reality  (or, at least articles on Facebook tell me so...boo), but it's something I was curious enough about doing that I finally bought one.  And I'm not one who buys stuff for the sake of buying things usually.   I'm not a paid subscriber to Ancestry.com, however, so I can't open up all the cool records.  They did invite me to begin a family tree, and some "hints" were open for me to view.  I enjoyed that.   Especially stuff like this which I hope to see more of one day.  (Maybe I will subscribe one day and read all the stuff!)

Washington, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1961
Immigration & Emigration
Vancouver, British Columbia
Arrival 17 Apr 1927 - Seattle, Washington - Age: 1
Birth 1926 - Tungjon, China
Departure Shanghai, China
Gender Male
Line 12
Name Daniel Wesley Truax
Race/Nationality Scotch
Residence China
Ship Name/Airline Empress of Canada

Daniel Truax is my beloved Pop (my mom's dad) who died four years ago. I find the Scotch race/nationality interesting. Not sure what to make of it since the family was from the United States, and Truax is a French last name.

From Ancestry.com
"Truax Name Meaning
Americanized spelling of French du Trieux, a habitational name from Trieux in Meurthe-et-Moselle, in northeastern France."

Also, I knew he was born to missionary parents in China (his mom is actually buried there; died at age 29 after having a daughter), but didn't realize the family traveled back to the US when he was so young.  

From the Fuqua side, I found this picture of my dad's grandfather. I had seen it before, but didn't have a copy that I remembered (or if I did, I can't remember where it is) so I wanted to put it here.  My brother got this grandfather's full name. My dad adored this man who raised him when his own parents divorced.

Daniel Carr Fuqua


Unknown said...

I'm curious about the articles saying it's bogus. Someone told me not to get one because it's not very interesting or accurate, they just tell you the very general region where your ancestors likely lived...but that's all I want! Sheesh, I didn't think they were going to use my DNA to tell me the street address where my great great great great grandma lived! :D Is that all the articles you read meant, or is even that vague-ish information unreliable?

I think I will probably get one of these tests anyway at some point. My family has almost no idea where we come from, people who study last names are always stumped by my dad's, and genealogy websites always turn up a great big nothing. Even a vague idea sounds pretty good to me.

It was interesting reading about your family members here. Thanks for sharing!

Niki said...

For me, the DNA test confirmed what my research had already found. Even the Scandinavian, French, Portuguese, and Spanish (Portugal and Spain being called the Iberian Peninsula), which are further back than my other roots. I was surprised those showed up, but it showed me that I was on the right track in terms of where my ancestors came from.

Since taking the DNA test, I've been contacted by distant cousins. The most recent being a 3rd cousin who contacted me on June 30th wanting information about her birth family. She was adopted and just found her birth mother this past November, but her birth mother doesn't want to see her, talk to her, or even tell her anything about her family or ancestors. I've never met her part of the family (we have the same great-great-grandparents), so I couldn't help there, but I did allow her to view my tree so that she can at least see our ancestors.

Nancy said...

How fun! That China story is fascinating; what a hard thing to have to do (bury your wife and then move halfway around the world with young children in tow)!

Genealogy is fascinating! If you ever want to look things up on Ancestry, I have an account. :) Just let me know what you'd like to find!

Susanne said...

Steph, I tried to google one of the articles I saw, but couldn't find it. It was partly about Elizabeth Warren and her Native American heritage and how a DNA test wouldn't likely prove it. I would love to see your results if you ever take the test! I think I remember your maiden name from Facebook, and always thought it was German. :) It would be interesting to learn more about where your family comes from.

Niki, that's great to know! You and Amber sharing your results made me want to do this more. I've often enjoyed the family tidbits you share. Do you still have your Ancestry.com account, and did you do both the US and International one or just the US one? (I'm guessing both since you mentioned European countries.) That's sweet that you helped the person looking for information on her biological family!

Nancy, I think they stayed in China a few more years (until the missionaries had to leave) except for furloughs to the US. My g-grandpa remarried so at least my grandfather had a stepmom to care for him. :) But it is weird to think that I have a great-grandmother buried in China. I've sometimes wondered where she was buried.

I'm really not sure what I'd like to find at this point, but thank you for your thoughtful offer. :)

Susanne said...

Steph, I didn't realize I had saved this article until I was glancing through all the links/posts I have saved on Facebook just now. I need to do that more often!