Roots By The White Kunte Kinte

In 1965 my family traveled back to England to the ancestral family farm to try to trace our roots. My father, like the white Kunte Kinte, wanted to establish his link to the past. We still have family living in England. My grandfather actually inherited the family farm, and the cousins had to come searching for him and my great -Aunt. The cousins told them that if they wanted the farm, they had to come over to England to live, and they decided not to do that, so they signed everything back over to our English cousins.

My father embarrassed me (I was only thirteen years old back then) by crawling around churchyards and scraping the lichens off tombs with pennies. The whole point, I gather, was to establish his link with Elizabeth Tudor. He wanted to prove that his ancestors were distant cousins of hers, and thus he was linked somehow to royalty.

We had to travel to some great Cathedral and see our family altar set along the wall. We had to purchase our Coat of Arms from some company who cranks them out by the dozen and mount it in our hallway. "What We Have We Hold" is our family motto. As far as I can tell, that means we never throw anything away.

Before we left, one of my cousins near my own age, took me aside and explained that my ancestor had actually been a pugilist. He had won the cup for pugilism from a nobleman by the name I was presently wearing, and had decided to adopt it. No one wanted to disillusion my father.

All in all, my best memory of the ancestral farm was the fabulous bull.
Rolle2323 Rolle2323
61-65, F
2 Responses Jul 30, 2010

Southeastern England. My fifth cousin is going back to visit his parents soon, and he will find out the name of the village for me.

An amusing story. Have you been back to England since?