I lost whole centuries of my family when my recent Ancestry. Ca membership lapsed. Luckily I painstakingly recorded information on index cards.
The next task will be to reinstall the information on my new Ancestry. com tree and onto my brother’s “family” tree.
Much of the walking through the past is in preparation for two events. On November 6th I will be in Yorkshire walking in the footsteps of my ancestors. I have stumbled upon video clips of life in West Yorkshire in 1940 and 1945 and feel more ready to experience the real deal.
I now know why I was obsessed with the Bronte’s and spent so much time seeking out British shows shot in the ocean of short grass on the Moors. My mother’s family resided there as far back as I can ascertain as the 1600’s.
My father’s family were Serbian and I have been pillaging on line sources to learn about the Covitchs. The Serbs underwent ethnic cleansing by the Croats and 700,000 of them were exterminated at the least accounting. Serbs perhaps riled up by the death purges, or by some other historic catastrophe even further back in their history went on to try to kill every Muslim they could and took a punitive swipe at dispensing death to all Croats that crossed their path.
I have always though of the chaotic, insane and violent nature of the males in my family as it worked its way out into my life.
Now I have a clearer view. When my grandfather left Serbia in 1911, he had already experienced horrors I can only imagine. He inflicted demeaning and soul destroying damage onto my father. And so it goes.
Our history is what happened to us. It is what happened to our ancestors. We carry it in our DNA. But luckily the Yorkshire part of me is beyond stubborn.
Yorkshire motto, “We shall do it whatever the opposition.”
It is why I come out swinging. It is why I could not be crushed.
I am learning so much that will appear in my biography which I begin in January. Disassociations is my working title.
As Aaron Sorkin said in a CBC interview recently, the getting ready to write is the important part of the work. I am making deep connections that start to provide me with clarity enough to both be “in” the memories and to be able to understand what happened.