A sense of identity is really important to people of any age, especially children. This can be hard. This is not just gender or sexuality identity. It can mean family history. This can be especially hard for kids who are not being raised by their biological parents.
My biological kids know they are Jewish from my side and German/Italian from their dad’s side. Because the other kids are biologically related to my partner, it makes it a lot easier. I am in college so I have an ancestry account so it only costs me $5 per month, which is nice.
I started with my side since I knew more about it first. I started putting in info about my parents, grandparents, uncles, etc. I started to get clues and it was really interesting to see info on my mother’s father. He died the year I was born and she refused to tell me anything about him. I was able to track that line until they emigrated to the United States.
When I tried to find info about my family before they emigrated, there was a dead end. I later found out a lot of the vital records on Jews have been destroyed during World War 2.
This left me depressed and sad. I was told that my family left before Hitler came to power. Logically, all my relatives couldn’t have all agreed to board the boat to Ellis Island. I am sure I have family that died in the Holocaust but I have no idea who they are.
After I run into this dead end, I think of people who say there is no systematic antisemitism. The dead end I ran into was systematic eraser of Jewish people. This makes me sad, angry and depressed. People who want to learn about their families cannot. This is all because of hate. I will never stop trying. I know I will find more but it will take a while.
In contrast, I started research on my partner’s step mother’s family. This person is his half siblings’ mother. I found out quite a lot actually. Her father was mennonite and they kept amazing records. I found the relative that A was named after and it was interesting to read his obituary. I was able to trace the family back to Switzerland, England and France to the 1300’s. No issues finding info on this family.
I then researched my partner’s father’s family. I am still going through hints. There are SO MANY. I found they are German, the last name Seigler is German, French, and Irish. His mother’s side I knew because my mother in law talked about her family a lot. Her brothers are helping me trace them back. They are 100% Italian.
I am unable to trace my family before they emigrated to the United States due to Jewish records being destroyed. This is disgusting erasure of Jewry due to the Nazis. This is the very definition of generational trauma. I am sure the Romani people experience the same.