Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Off and on for about 20 years, my father and I have been amateur genealogists. We've traced every branch in our tree as far back as we could until we got stumped (no pun intended) and gave it a rest. My ancestry has driven me to choose some the locales I've used in my "Circle of Destiny" books because I longed to know more about my ancestors' homes.

I knew my maiden name was either Irish or Welsh. It's a variation of Brian, as in Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, and I'd always fantasized I was somehow related. Then I learned about the Welsh connection. One family researcher we ran across claimed our name was a corruption of Brionne and it was Welsh. That would explain our dark hair (though a few cousins have flaming red hair)and my penchant for castles. ;-)

Dad recently got a new version of Family Tree Maker software and whoa!! There he was...the father of the ancestor we'd been stuck on. Not only him but several more generations, taking the family across the ocean and yep, you guessed it, straight into Ireland AND Wales. We actually had ancestors who lived in castles. We had Welsh families with unpronounceable names and Irish grandfathers with the name Fitz(insert Daddy's first name here). But the Welsh branch gives me chill bumps when I think about the eerie coincidence: My family comes from the very same county as the hero from my first novel, Wish for the Moon.

This leads me to wonder about the other branches of my family. The Scots, English and German. Could they have equally romantic backgrounds and homes?

If you know your family history, what part do you find the most romantic? The most intriguing? Do you have anything in your tree that gives you the tingles?