like alice down the rabbit hole

A few weeks ago, one of my friends was telling me how she had discovered family.  Now for her, that is no easy feat, as she was adopted and it was a closed adoption. She did not know where or who she came from, other than she was born in Philadelphia.

So she did one of those DNA tests.  Through that, family of her birth mother contacted her. She found out where she was from and her mother had traveled to Philadelphia to have her baby, and gave her (my friend) up for adoption.

I am not adopted, but having a curious mind I would love to learn about the melting pot that is my family.  I am Italian, Irish,and Pennsylvania German.

So I have ordered a DNA saliva kit to send away through  It’s not here yet, but when you buy it (and it’s on sale right now through the holidays) you get a temporary membership.  I am not sure what I will do after the trial membership is up, but right now I am like Alice falling down the proverbial rabbit hole.

On my husband’s side, I have traced back so far to a third great grandmother on his maternal grandfather’s side.  I even have seen a photograph of her marriage record in 1830 in the Kennett Friends Meeting.  I am assuming it was the meeting house which was founded in the Borough of Kennett Square around 1812 but I am not sure because in the 1820s there was a split into other meetings. Something to do with factions of very liberal Quakers and very conservative Quakers.  Some went to the Old Kennett Meeting House, and others to the Parkersville Friends Meeting House (also apparently known as Kennett Preparitive Meeting of Friends.

My husband’s family on his mother’s side via his maternal grandfather goes back well into the 18th century so far.  His mother was born in New Jersey, but her family has deep roots in Chester County and the State of Delaware I am learning. On his father’s side, I have gotten as far back as his paternal grandparents and turn of the 20th century. I have not so much for his maternal grandmother as of yet.

My family is more of a tale of immigration. On my father’s side, maternal and paternal grand parents (my great grand parents) came to the United States from Italy in the 1870s.  I have been unable thus far to track prior to them arriving in the United States.  It was really cool to see some of them on ship passenger lists! I have discovered some emigrated to the US and were in Alabama for a while of all places!

On my mother’s side, we have Irish and Pennsylvania German.  I have hit a brick wall with the German side (maternal grandmother’s parents or my great grandparents) because although they have unusual last names for me, in Lancaster County and the coal regions of PA, my maternal great grandmother from the German side is like a German equivalent of Smith.  I only just figured out my maternal grandmother’s maternal grandparents’ names (I think!). I think I have located a 2nd great grandmother born in Germany in 1853. We have miners apparently, tobacco farmers and tobacco shop owners.

On my mother’s side, we also have the Irish.  That would be her paternal grandparents, my great grandparents who died long before my mother’s parents married. I have been able to go back to 2nd great grandparents.Two sets, both from Ireland.  Starting in 1825. And that is as far as I have gotten.  No ship’s passenger lists as of yet to see WHERE my Irish hail from, although I was told long ago some from Northern Ireland, although all were Catholic. I found a blacksmith in my tree!

I know what I am from, but to see it laid out is kind of cool.  I will now wait and see what the DNA test will tell after I take it and send it back.

If you are interested both and 23andMe are running specials.  You can also buy the kits from either of them right off of

I will note I am NOT being compensated by any of these DNA/Geneology outfits to write about this.  I have always wanted to do it, so I finally just did.  I should also mention I tried a few years ago, but did not find it as easy to use, or as interesting or staisfying.  One of my cousins on my father’s side used that site to compile information.

Back to the Christmas baking. Thanks for stopping by.