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My Heritage

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My family, including myself, comes from many different countries around the world. Here are some interesting facts, history, and cultural information about many of them.

The first country that my ancestors came from is Germany. There are many interesting facts about Germany and many inventions that have been created there. Also there are many different cars that are manufactured there. For example did you know that the printing press was invented in Germany? Or did you know that the Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Audi are all cars that originated in Germany? Also many famous composers and some not so famous composers came from Germany, including Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, Mendelssohn, Handel, and Schumann.

The Germans also have some very interesting customs. For example to wish for good luck, German's don't cross their fingers they fold a thumb in and close fingers on it. This is called 'pressing the thumb.' Also when leaving an elevator, German people say good-bye to the other riders on the elevator, even if the people did not talk to the person during the ride.

Some other interesting facts are that there are very few drinking fountains in Germany, because most Germans prefer sparkling water rather than tap water. Another fact is that German adults like to garden. Even if the adults live in an apartment they might rent or own a small garden plot in the city or near the city.

German people speak German, but some people speak with different dialects or accents. All children learn High German, which is a form of German used to communicate in business and education, in school. When writing Germans capitalize all nouns, even when the word is in the middle of a sentence.

Most Germans are Christian. Although about a third of them are Roman Catholic. Another third of the Germans are Protestant. In earlier times entire towns belonged to one faith.

Some important holidays to the Germans are the Christmas holidays; also another important holiday is New Year's Eve. There main holiday is the Day of German Unity on October 3.


Another country my ancestors are from is Ireland. Some interesting facts about Ireland are that around 70 million people worldwide claim they have Irish ancestry. Another fact is that Ireland has fewer people now than it did in the 1840's, because many Irish people left the country because of famine and economic problems. Ireland had a population of about 8 million people in the 1840's, now there are only about 4 million people in Ireland. Also, did you know that potatoes are not originally from Ireland? Potatoes were brought to Ireland from South America. Something else that might be of interest is that there are no snakes in Ireland. A legend says that St. Patrick forced the snakes to leave by beating a drum.

Irish or Gaelic is Ireland's national language. Today though Irish is in limited use, but the popularity is growing.

Most Irish are Roman Catholic. A large number of them actively practice their religion. Though, nearly 3 percent of the population in Ireland belongs to the Anglican Church of Ireland. The rest of the population belong to other churches or are not members of any church.

St. Patrick's Day is Ireland's national holiday. Christmas is also an important celebration.


The last country my ancestors come from is the UK (Scotland/England). Some facts about the UK: Big Ben, the bell tower is located in the UK. Bagpipes were introduced to Scotland from the country of Ireland. The first Christmas card was created here. Mary Stuart, one of Scotland's queens, became the queen when she was only six days old. More redheads are born in Scotland than in any other country. England also helped develop many of the world's favorite sports.

Nearly everyone in the UK speaks English, which is the official language. But the different dialects can be hard for Americans to understand. Also Welsh, Irish, and Scottish are spoken in the UK.

England has the fewest public holidays in all of Europe. The week between Christmas and New Year's is the most popular holiday period. New Year's Eve is Scotland's biggest holiday.


Now I will tell you about some of my ancestor's stories. The first story is about my Great, Great, Great Grandma MaryAnn Greene. Mary was a pioneer who worked for Brigham Young. She was married to Franklin Birch. She was the 5th wife of 5 wives. At 18 years old Franklin died and she was a widow. My Great Aunt Karen lives in the house of Mary Green. The house was originally two rooms and was built before 1900. The house is located in Salt Lake City.

Another story is about MaryAnn Greene's son. Mary's son died on horseback. He was riding down the road to the house to get more ice for the ice chest. He was killed by rocks thrown at him and his horse by his step brothers from another wife of Franklin. The rocks caused the horse to rear up which threw the son of the horse where he hit his head on solid ground and died.

I was unable to find any other stories so I hope you enjoyed the stories that I have.





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Bethani said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 9:50 pm
Interesting customs! My dad went to Germany as a foreign exchange student and he has never mentioned the 'pressing thumb' custom or saying goodbye even if they didn't speak the whole elevator ride. Keep it up!
 
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