Family Tree Surprise

Ancestral studies rarely enticed me, that is until now!  My granddaughter, Sookie, created a family tree for her classroom assignment.   Emails between our families flew back and forth this week as she gathered information to complete her homework.   That’s when we discovered a surprise.

Eight years ago, my daughter, Sookie’s mom, declared during her pregnancy that if she delivers a girl, her name will be Susanna and we’ll call her Sookie for fun.   We learned this week that my husband’s great grandmother’s name was Susanna, spelled like our Susanna’s with an “s”, the Hebrew version.  I wish I knew more about her!   Why such a strong urge on my daughter’s part for that particular name?

But that’s not all.

When my daughter expected her second baby, she declared:  “If it’s a boy, I really think we should name him Samuel.”

Now I Have the Chills
We learned this week that great grandmother Susanna married great grandfather, Samuel!  We remarked that these inclinations are too weird!  We never knew these people or their names!

Families…the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

We chose their names not knowing them.  But I glance at the family tree and reflect about the similarities that I do know of that passed down through generations.  Like any family, ours reveals weaknesses, strengths and quirks.  

We’re known for power naps on my dad’s side. 

We trace creativity in my mom’s family.

Both my parents and Tom's mom suffered migraines.

Females in my mom’s lineage experienced weak knee joints in their golden years.

We get humor from my mother and Tom’s dad and melancholy depth from my dad and his mom.

The list goes on and on.  Some things we proudly boast of in our families and some things make us want to crawl under the covers in embarrassment.  

I found a verse in the Bible during my study today that I long to see in generational lines to follow.  I pray that when we’re thought of, it can be said of us that we are people of integrity.  

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.
Proverbs 20:7

What about you?  Any surprises in your family tree?


  1. Samuel, too? Chills!
    I've wondered where the "Sookie" came from. That's an adorable nickname!

    Although my mother and father were diligent in documenting (their) ancestors names and milestones, it's unfortunate no whims or whimsies were noted. In fact, there was a time growing up when I felt so alienated from my parents, I wondered if I wasn't adopted. What with blogger, journals - even Facebook - I hope no other child will find it necessary to wonder where he or she belongs.

  2. I love the nickname Sookie. Fascinating and fun post, thank you so much for sharing.

  3. That would give me the chills too with the Samuel connection. Our family tree breaks up a bit in that both of our kids are adopted. Its funny though because on more than one occasion people (who didn't know that son was adopted) said "he looks just like his grandfather" or "he looks just like his dad". We have to chuckle at that. We don't see it, but maybe others do??


  4. Enjoyed your blog so much!! Yes, we inherit many physical traits through the genes, and research shows that some personality traits are inherited, too. To read something really interesting, Google in "Research on transmission of memory through the DNA". It's all university research based, not some weird stuff. Thanks, again!

  5. I like the name Sookie - that's a sweet name. To name a new- born baby after a family member was considered once a great honor .
    One cannot escape Genetics, that's for sure. However, its blows can be delayed or softened if the other parameters , that is, adequate nutrition and low stress, are good. That's a comforting thought.

  6. Such an interesting journey your granddaughter's school assignment took your whole family on! Love your tie in with scripture--it is a great goal for all of us!

  7. I have a friend who has investigated her family tree extensively and made books for her children based on what she found. I've delved into it a bit, mostly on my mother's end. I have diaries of my great great Aunt Pearl and several heirlooms of hers. I love to see what lineage I came from and would have loved to sit with them and visit. What a wonderful find to see Susanna and Samuel back in your family tree and now you have two to carry on that name!

  8. Hi Mary! Wow, that's just amazing. I would have gotten chills too! (I wondered where Sookie came from too.) I don't think I've seen anything that surprising in my family tree, maybe I have a boring family?

    I remember having the kids talk to my parents about their family trees for school. Thank goodness they were available, because I wouldn't have been able to help. I know my dad's family came over from Ireland because of the potato famine, but so many Irish came over then, it's not surprising.
    Have a great Monday!

  9. Well, I have just had the Holy bumps reading this about the kids names! WOW! I've always wanted to do a family tree that branched back many years ago and just never have. My husband's side of the family has a family tree of information and each year at the Conner reunion it is placed out for all that want to browse through it. It is amazing what we could learn about ourselves through family isn't it Mary? Some things I am not so sure I want to know. LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  10. Wow! That is SO neat! We recently found out that my husband, so, of course, our son, Zach, are descendants of Zachary Taylor! Made me wonder if that is why my husband was so certain and intent upon naming our son, Zach. My brother is really into genealogy, and he has unearthed some other really neat facts, too. Funny how life works, isn't it? Thanks for sharing this neat story with us!

  11. That is so interesting! We have traced our geneology to the Netherlands on both my side and Bob's. No fun surprises though!

  12. It's crazy what I'll find in my family tree if I look closer. :D
    But that's alright. I've learned Jesus' genealogy is crazier and look at where He is. He is chosen, He and the Father are one.

  13. Thank you for this wonderful post, Mary. I love it that your daughter had a desire to name both of her children by names that you later found out were in the family tree. The thing that my husband and I both marvel at is how certain traits are in us that we didn't realize the significance of where they came from until the last several years. An example would be that he has always loved foods that we later learned were quite Scottish and/or Irish. With a last name like McBride you see where I am going with this. I love cabbage...any way you fix it. I've a lot of German blood in my heritage. We both love Celtic instrumental music. So, my question it in our genes? Thank you again, my friend, for sharing this post! xx

  14. It's like family is in the blood, in our DNA even if we don't know them. I've heard great stories about how siblings meet each other by chance and instantly know their brother or sister even though they have never met or known about each other.

  15. Yeah, beyond bizarre. Some surprises are good!

    I'm with you on the desire for what it is we're remembered for. May it be said of us that we sought our Father first in all things. Bringing Him honor takes care of our legacies.

    My mom got a blood line test about six months ago. She found out that she's a small part Italian... which she swore she didn't have a trace of her whole life... should've seen that one coming...

  16. O, how touching. I can scroll back in my family tree to the 15th century. It's very interesting. They were people like you and me. With their own feelings, their own struggles ... I love both names: Susanna and Samuel.


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