Feb 25, 2011

I Feel Related

Anyone who has searched for his/her roots does so because of a need to feel connected. John Steinbeck undertook such a journey (much like Rosie O'Donnell whose search for her roots was just profiled on the show Who Do You Think You Are.) Most Americans have bloodlines reaching back to several ethnic groups. When Steinbeck went looking for his roots, he acknowledged that he was only half Irish. But he said, "Irish blood doesn't water down very well; the strain must be very strong."

Alister McReynolds and Wilson Burgess at the gravesite of Steinbeck's ancestors in Ireland. They followed Steinbeck's journey for a BBC program.
Steinbeck visited Ireland in search of his roots according to Alister McReynolds's book, Legacy, The Scots Irish in America. I'm proud to say that Alister is a friend of mine. He's a scholar and a native of Northern Ireland.

Apparently Steinbeck, during his journey to Ireland, proclaimed, "I feel related." In the January 31, 1953 edition of Collier's Magazine, Steinbeck talked about his journey in an article called, "I Go Back to Ireland."

If you didn't see last Friday's Who Do You Think You Are episode where Rosie O'Donnell finds her Irish roots, no worries, you can watch it here. Please let me know what you think. There were a couple of things Rosie said I thought were pretty profound and spoke to what every family historian feels.

1 comment:

  1. This was incredible, Cindy! Thanks for posting. I think, of course, that everyone still living in Ireland also went through that tragic time...like my Gerry's family. Makes me appreciate them.