Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Family, Ancestors and so on.

Hello all. I'm in a quandry, regarding this coming Friday's PBP. I was going to write about familiars, and then realised I could (and perhaps should?) write about the concept of fulltrui. (Admission of ignorance: no idea what the plural for "fulltrui" would be. I am fairly sure that that's the singular masculine and that the feminine would be fulltrua... but not certain.) So I'm torn and may end up writing a bonus entry, just because people might be interested in fulltrui.

I was having a look at my page stats (as one does) and discovered someone on tumblr had linked to my entry on the Dísir. It's very warm-fuzzy inducing to know people are enjoying some of the things I write, but I also saw that someone had reblogged the link to add their own input. It's an interesting read, and I thought I would share it, as I enjoyed reading it.

For my own sake, I'm told I'm a great deal like my grandmother and her mother, Doris, whom I never met, but about whom I am terribly curious - apparently she had "the Sight" and "the 'Fluence" as my grandmother cryptically refers to them. Doris was in her kitchen when their house was bombed during the Blitz and ended up with a face full of glass. (She went on to live a long life. Just not quite long enough for me to meet her, unfortunately.) My grandmother was shot in the arm that same day by a German plane, and her older sister went off to be a nurse and alas died not long after of TB. It all sounds a terribly exciting time to have been alive. My grandfather never wrote his memoirs, despite my badgering. I am sad at stories lost. I think there are many things about his time in the army that he never told us. My grandmother really must write hers, before more stories are forgotten. 

I may have mentioned this in my entry on the fylgjur; memory, as we know from the Havamal, is important. Those remembered are never gone, and those stories remembered are told and retold, and become legend. 
"For Muninn my care is more."
There was a man who took my grandfather's place in an army.... mission.... thing, whatever it was, in Egypt. My grandfather had three children and this mission might have proved dangerous, so this man volunteered himself. Their party met trouble, and did not survive. Had that man not taken my grandfather's place it might have been my grandfather dead. In fact, my grandmother thought it was, when a soldier came to her door to tell her of the party's death. In any event, my grandfather often raised a glass to this man, though my grandfather was an atheist and did not believe in life after death. This story was told at my grandfather's funeral, but I have heard it many times. I don't know if that man has any surviving family, anyone to remember his name, so it's a name I have committed to memory. If no one else says his name at their hearth, I shall.

This isn't to give you all a full commentary on my family history, just a way of illustrating memory and the dead. That's just recent family history; genealogy is actually rather fascinating. If you or a family member can afford an account on something like ancestry.com there is much that can be found. I discovered a tiny village in what was once West Yorkshire that is still tiny, whence one off-shoot of my family came. I was rather pleased to discover that some of them were from York itself, also, with York's history of Viking settlement. On the other side of my family I have some ancestors from Ireland, one of whom came to this land in 1845. I can look at the ships' records. I can go to his grave-site. I know the regiment of the British army in which he served. I can go to MOTAT and see the sort of cottage in which he and his family of far too many children would have lived. Many people I know are most interested in seeing what cousins they have floating about the place, but I am more interested in the links to the past, digging out old stories for the new generations. I recommend it.

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