THE QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
What if any patterns have you noticed about names in the Cartwright family across the generations? For the purposes of this discussion, a pattern of names is anything that is repeated (with apparent purpose) either within a generation are across generations. To use a familiar example, the three Scheffer siblings all have first names that begin with K (Krista, Kathy, and Kay). I will suggest some occurrences that I have become aware of in my reading about family history but I am eager to hear from Cartwright cousins who have noticed themes that I no doubt have not observed.
THE MONTHLY MYSTERY (February 2015):
Does anyone know when folks in the Cartwright family began to claim that the family lineage includes Native Americans? If you have read some parts of Billy’s memoir about Jess, you may have noticed that he identifies Grandma Millie as a Choctaw Indian (apparently through her father’s family), but from what I have gathered there is no stable documentation to prove that is the case. There is no listing in “the Dawes rolls” that demonstrates this. My brother Paul Cartwright and my cousin Karen Snyder Smith have uncovered some additional references that suggest that this claim may go back beyond Millie’s generation, but to the best of my knowledge there is no documentation that ties this down. What we find, however, is persistent storytelling about ancestors who are believed to have been “Indians.”
THE $64,000 QUESTION:
What kinds of things have you and your siblings wondered about with respect to our shared our genetic heritage? Let me give a couple of examples.
Example: Several years ago, while visiting Aunt Dorothy [Cartwright Snyder], I recall her telling me that her doctor had recently prescribed a supplement for thyroid deficiency. Then she commented, “I told MC that I am the last of the six siblings to have to take Thyroid medication.” Dorothy went on to say that in her case, it was probably the result of the aging process and not necessarily an inherited problem. Even so, I was surprised to hear that all six of the siblings had received treatment for thyroid issues. Although I had known that Aunt Virginia [Cartwright Hamilton] had struggled with her thyroid levels, I was not aware that this was a problem that had affected other members of the family. I am not even sure that I knew that my father Billy had experienced thyroid deficiency. Although I am far from being an expert on this kind of medical issue, I do know that there are multiple reasons why any of us might have thyroid issues. Genetic inheritance is one contributing factor, but not the only one.
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