Monday, March 29, 2010
The All-American "Stew" or Hungarian Goulash
When I first started putting together this family history last spring, I had to make a decision about which of my mixed family lines I should address first. It only made sense that since I was a Jones, I should start with my paternal lines. Besides -- they were an interesting group and I had a lot of information. They were mainly English, with some Irish thrown in beginning with Norine and a little "Pennsylvania Dutch" compliments of Elizabeth Kinley (Alexander Jones' wife).
From time to time one of my cousins on the "Ryan" side of the family would ask me when I was going to write something about the Irish. My mother's sister, Evelyn, married a McCafferty. Her brother, Jim, married a Cunningham. I guess that definitely makes those two families more Irish than anything else -- but I love to needle Uncle Jim about his own mother's German roots. Can you say "Vonderheide"?
I am fascinated by my all-American, Cincinnati mixed ancestry. I actually believe it is a good thing to mix up the genes a little bit. So I present to you Exhibit A -- my beautiful grandson -- Imre "Ian" Varga. He is wearing his "Kiss Me I'm Irish" shirt. I asked my daughter, Liz, if the people at his daycare have difficulty thinking of him as Irish. (Ian's father, Imre "Roland", grew up in Venezuela and is of Hungarian descent). She told me that, in fact, the teachers refer to Ian as their "little Irish boy" because of his reddish-colored hair, bright blue eyes, and his clear preference for all things green (or "geen" as he pronounces it).
His name should be a dead give away that there is more to this story. In fact, Ian's heritage is a mix of German, English, Irish, Swiss, Hungarian and Romanian -- and that's the ancestry we know about. Imre is a common Hungarian name and the name given to the first-born son of the first-born son for several generations in his father's family. How about that for the "family of man"!
So my blog postings are going to go in a new direction. I am going to begin discussing my maternal lines, beginning with the Irish. It's an interesting story -- and one I am still working to unravel. Come along with me and share the trip.