Originally Posted by purple.alien.giraffe
So BT, since you've asked others the same question, do you know your ancestry and what do you know about your family history?
why yes, i do know a good amount of my family history, but i'll just post recent stuff.
i'm 1/2 irish, dad's side, from co.'s leitrim, cavan, and mayo; and 1/2 norwegian, mom's side, from oslo and bergen.
my paternal grandfather came to the u.s, to become a citizen around 1916, and the quickest way to do it was to sign up for the army and fight in world war 1.
he was injured twice, and received 2 purple hearts before coming home to brooklyn after the war, eventually marrying my maternal grandmother and having my dad.
my grandfather realized that the disability pay he was receiving from the army wasn't much here, but it was enough for a good life back in ireland. so he packed up the family and moved back to co. leitrim, and bought a small farm in the town of ballinamore.
with their u.s. army pay and a successful farm, my dad says that he was actually raised fairly well off. they had a maid, one of the only cars in their town, and were the first in ballinamore to have an indoor toilet, indoor plumbing in the kitchen from a sistern my grandfather built on the roof, and were able to get electricity run to their town, hooking up their house before many people had the wiring.
just before wwii, my grandfather moved his now much larger family back to the states because of the threat of war, and my dad signed up for the army as soon as he was old enough.
after boot camp, my dad became a medic in the 109th regiment of the 28th infantry division. he fought through 5 campaigns, from normandy to berlin to central europe.
after the war, my dad became a teletype operator for western union, then a firefighter for a hook and ladder company in brooklyn. after being gravely injured twice and with 6 children to support, my mom made him quit the nyfd and he got a job as a sportswriter/teletype operator for the associated press.
the history of my mom's side of the family is a lot more sketchy. i know that my maternal grandparents were simple farmers and fishermen way north in norway, not far from the arctic circle.
their family lived on some small islands off the far northern coast. there are some stories that my mom's father and uncles also fought the germans in wwii in the norwegian underground, but i haven't been able to substantiate that yet.
after the war when oil was discovered near their land in the north sea, the family got together and quickly sold out (for an unbelievably small amount) and some of the family moved to oslo, the rest came to nyc to start a new life.
my mom was one of 11 children from her parents, but nearly half of them died from diseases such as polio at very young ages.
my grandfather continued working as a fisherman here too, sailing out of sheepshead bay, ny, but eventually gave up that harsh life and became a bartender in the danish club in brooklyn.
some of the family that stayed in norway have become successful businessmen, and one of my cousins sings in the norwegian national opera.
ok, so that's my family in a nutshell.
there's a lot more, but i might end up confusing people thinking it was one of goodweed's extended stories.