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Are My Roots Showing?

This is a common question in our house, especially when Heart Of My Heart worries a shock of white is beginning to manifest itself in her hairline.  I often point to the very attractive pictures of my mother who bravely embraced the wave of white which emanated from the left-hand corner of her scalp.  It only added to her already evident elegance.  And I thought JoBeth Williams looked totally hot with the waft of platinum which graced her hair after her family's spooky encounters in "Poltergeist".  But the Bride of Frankenstein?  She completely freaked me out!  Especially with that high-pitched shrill of a scream.

Hmmm.  Okay.  How did I get here?  Well..., that is sorta the question.  Really.  How did I get here?

In my Religions in America class, we are exploring religious pluralism.  The first short-paper assignment was to write about my family's national and religious history in America.  Fortunately, by virtue of my father's hobby in genealogical studies, I have lots of information about my ancestors with a family tree showing my lineage all the way back to around 1200 in England.  After pouring through all of that, I called my Dad for the faith-related stuff that accompanies where our family came from, how we got here and why, and where they settled and later migrated.  I'm no means Alex Haley, and you can only summarize so much in the space of 2-3 pages, double-spaced.  But I do understand a bit more about my 'roots'.

Dad's exploration traced the Crosby's back twenty-two generations to the 11th Century in Yorkshire, England.  We presume our first ancestors had their origin of faith, if any, in and through the Anglican Church.  Some time around 1634-1636 during the Great Migration, 10th generation Crosby's landed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony of Newtowne as part of that New World Puritan settlement to live in New England.  When Loyalists departed Massachusetts following the American Revolution, 14th generation Crosby's carried our lineage to Nova Scotia in Canada where they remained for six more generations.  It was my paternal grandfather, a member of the 301st Engineers in the American Expeditionary Forces assisting with the reconstruction of Europe following WWI, who accepted his U.S. citizenship when he returned home.  He was raised as a Baptist, but when he married my grandmother, the Crosby's found our way back to those Anglican roots to grow up in the Protestant Episcopal Church.  Thank you, Grammie!  During my father's growing up in Missouri, there were no Episcopal churches nearby, so he sought worship where he could, when he could.  At least the U.S. Navy's Protestant services and music drew from the Episcopal Church liturgy, and he was happy. 

And the rest, as they say, is history.

It's very cool to have this background on my family and our history.  But there's so much about us that I don't know.  I imagine I've missed a lot that may be forever lost because I didn't know enough to ask in the past.  These are important things!   Somethings are big like that my father's father was a naturalized citizen of the United States of America.  I did not know that.  Then there are little things like my father being baptized at home not long after coming home from the hospital.  (Talk about your cradle Episcopalian). 

Sadly I know too little about my Crosby's, but what I do have now, I'm glad to know.  I will treasure it.  Thank you, Dad.  Really, we gotta write this stuff down.  Soon.  Please?  Let me be your scribe.