"May you never forget what is worth remembering nor ever remember what is best forgotten."
I've spent much of today thinking about my Irish heritage. My grandmother was born Eleanor Grace O'Keefe in 1908. Unfortunately, I am unable to get any information on my family tree before her grandfather George A. O'Keefe who was born in 1835 in New York State.
On the Wylie side, however, I can trace my lineage back to John Wylie who was born in Cullybaky, Ahoghill, County Antrim, Ireland around 1688. (He's my direct ancestor going back 9 generations - in other words, he's my seven-greats-grandfather) He and his family emigrated to Connecticut in the US in 1729. I am unable to trace the Wylie family back any farther at this point, although the website I use (myheritage.com) has some suggestions for his parentage. It is fun to research.
After my accident, I got into genealogy as a way to pass the time while I was on disability. It was a wonderful pastime that I still enjoy, although I spend very little time on it now. Once a month, I do a short update to the family tree, which is now up to 1616 individuals, including much of Steve's family (which I've traced back to 1540, 13 generations back).
Family heritage is a wonderful thing. It tells us where we came from, and often there are stories of hardship and struggle. What's most important is to use that information to steer us forward into the future, so that we can create our own heritage. Do we want to be remembered as someone who struggled with body image or fought the urge to overeat or spent our lives laying on the sofa eating snacks and watching TV? Or do we want to be remembered as someone who made a difference in the world, and lived a healthy, active life up until the end?
Strive to be better than you think you can be, and you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish!
In the spirit of my Irish ancestors, I toast your good health! Slainte mhath!