Friday, March 16, 2007

All In The Family

For some years, as a young woman, I harbored the illusion that my paternal ancestors were of French descent. I do not know how or exactly when I came upon the notion, but it was there. The idea of my French ancestry was lying dormant, awaiting the time and opportunity to be known out loud and in color.

At some point, I co-opted an accent for my last name, borrowing an extra syllable. Words like au revoir, bonjour and merci beaucoup were becoming part of my daily speech patterns. I'd even gone so far as to take a semester of French in an attempt to get closer to a heritage I'd presumed was mine.

Or course, I was wrong. This notion of French ancestors is completely false, without merit. At least, that's what I've come to believe. Some preliminary investigation surrounding the origins of my last name seem to indicate that my paternal ancestors were more likely of Irish descent.

Further, some discovery reveals that my last name was at one time slang for what amounts to a laze-about or perhaps more accurately, someone who travels the least challenging path. Further still, I discovered that combined with another word, which coincidentally, is the family name of some related by marriage relatives, the Irish version of my last name roughly translates to 'kiss my ass.'
As you may imagine I was not overly excited about these discoveries. Yet, I remain interested not only in the origins of my name but the family heritage as well. I'm wondering if I might be distant relatives of the family wearing my last name, who produce a bourbon bearing that same name. The plot thickens.
Kiss Me. I'm Irish. Maybe.


  1. Even if French, your last name is one syllable. My friend Hitaji loves to tell beople if her Scotch Irish lineage. Apparently, her people were owned by them back in the day. Genealogical research should be easier.

  2. Hee. I love that you got down with your franco-self. I think we all, or most of us, consider our own lives and heritage so boringly ordinary that we bulldog into anything even remotely "exotic" we can claim. My mom has done quite a bit of fact-finding about her family, so I have lots and lots of information about my boringly ordinary German and Swedish ancestors who settled in Illinois and Iowa upon arriving in the U.S. and stayed put for the next century and a half. Yawn.

    On the other hand, my paternal grandmother is Native American, and my paternal grandfather hints that our family name might be bogus given that his father was a bit of a crook and fled England for Canada, perhaps assuming our especially common English name so that he could disappear. Do I know anything more about these folks? No, I do not. But I'm a hell of a lot more interested in them!

  3. elizabeth6:50 PM

    Aye, lass, we might be kin! I coulda told ye yer name was from the Isle.

    And so, now that we're family 'n all, here is an Irish toast I heard often and loud as a wee one traveling to 'n fro from bar to bar -

    Here's to those who wish us well, those who don't can go to hell.

  4. Welcome to the clan, Deborah! You'll find us to be a fine group. We're witty, kind, fun and just a wee bit wicked. ;)

    Good luck with your research.

  5. You seem to have caught on to that kissing thing quite well!

  6. We could be related ... that would explain eveyting ;-)

    Now I want to hear some Irish twang ... Tink instead of Think ... ting instead of ting ... c'mon chick you can do it ... I'll be waiting in O'neils bar for you ... Happy St Patrick's Day paddy ;-)

    Kiss me I'm Irish too!!!

  7. I reckon any of us could adopt whatever lineage we felt drawn to... we are all such a mixed lot of genetics that we would likely be right nine times out of ten ;-)
    (You have me intrigued though!)

  8. O'Middle Girl? LOL

  9. Anonymous2:45 PM

    You are a very clever writer.
    Thanks for a good read.


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