What Happens when the the Family Tree Branch dies out because of no more male names?
Not because of no males, but because of no male surnames? Does the biology stop with the girl names? Or do the names stop the biology?
We know that’s not how our biology works.
What happens when a mother marries?
Does all the inheritance her biology contributes to the offspring end with the name change?
Doesn’t the biology of the mother matter?
Maybe more than the name?
How much longer can we go on denying and lying to ourselves about the biological contribution of our mothers and what gets carried, socially or biologically, forward despite the end of the male surname?
I can’t go on not adding half of my branches of my family tree anymore because of the end of the male surname.
But what to do about it?
IMMEDIATE, QUICK BACKGROUND OF MY QUESTIONS
Here’s some background of how I came to this troubling issue and all these questions.
I had spent the most amount of my genealogy work time researching family history on my last name. The males dominant because of the inheritance of family to son name and in the tradition of blood relatives as commonly understood.
My father’s name. His father’s father’s, father’s, father’s father’s father’s, father’s, etc name.
But I began to wonder about where I spent my time. I tried to brush the thoughts away at first.
I had so much invested already so I kept working in the direction from which I came even though the truth kept nagging me. And soon I couldn’t brush the thoughts away. The more I was learning, the more truth was evident. This group based on names wasn’t really the most important in what I had inherited. I wanted to know about the inheritance of a grandmother I knew nothing about simply because the name seemed distant and unimportant. Evidence conflicted.
I could no longer ignore the thoughts.
I thought, well, all this material on my mothers side(s) is there. I researched the male name from her father’s side as well. Then I kept going. In Fact, despite the name change for every mother, for every generation, every changing name, all of the mom’s biology and contributions were from my mothers. Fact. Period. I began to list the names all in the same line. The same as if I listed one name for the same amount of males. Get it? Many people. One name. Many people each with a different name. Same amount of stuff. No difference.
One name gives the illusion of sameness and hides the variety. Many names hides the illusion of cohesiveness and gives the illusion of lack of any consistent inheritance. Both distortions. Do I see my biology in distortions? And what about social order?
Along the same thinking, socially, I grew up in a family where the work division was fairly sexist so I had experience that informed me on this; experience first hand, of what skills, knowledge, and behaviors came from my mothers and not my fathers. There was not just biology but the social elements of inheritance. It was undeniable for me, but the whole thing was getting muddy in the changes of the world around me. There were lots of changes going on. More than I could possibly know, especially with women and men’s relationships, genetic manipulation and understandings.
I realized my mothers had a line of descent, like the fathers, that does not disrupt by a man’s sperm, too. There’s my mother’s mother, and her mother, and her mother, and her mother, and her mother, and the biology of that inheritance, especially the eggs that never comes from a father, etc. Some things can only come from a mother. That matters. I wanted it counted. I was taught to value mothering. I lived it.
A can of worms. But Here’s the real problem.
It just turns our world upside down in our thinking to count our mothers – out of established order. Our logical patterns, categorization and organization of relationships and how we see them moves into a chaotic state when we count women because we’ve learned a specific order to this world based on centering around male names.
But facts are facts. The way it is setup denies facts so it is a false order. And my work contributes to distortion unless I correct it.
And one of the contributing factors that brought me to this is the cases where lies were buried by women out of social demand and in order to survive social legalities despite facts. I was confronted with lies but valued honesty and truth.
That’s a real delimma for me because my experience is that I survive and thrive with truth. My life dinimishes with lies about who I am.
My mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, mother’s mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, direct line has just as much to contribute to who I am, and sometimes maybe more, cause I’m a woman inheriting from women in ways my brothers are not.
What is consistent there despite the name change and interruption of a man’s name?
EXAMPLE. WHAT TO DO?
Well, being a farmer’s wife is something I’ve noticed, for starters.
In my direct line of ancestors based on my mother’s maiden name, it means I’m the first woman in our family history of the United States, in that direct family line since the 1700’s, that is not a farmer’s wife.
That’s huge especially because I’ve said a few times, “it’s in my blood”. LOL.
Just not being a farmer’s wife doesn’t remove the tradition and ways of living from my soul. Interesting, huh?
But still, that’s not the one I count first. What are my inheritances? Which do I count and value?
I count my name as my father’s name first. Not my mother’s name. So it doesn’t matter?
My name is Henninger, not my mother’s father’s name, Fink. The Henninger line is different. I feel less connected. What do I make of this long line of mothers?
Is it best to go on ignoring them or keeping their lives off the page?
COMPLICATIONS AND MANY FACTORS
I have no female grandchild. And my only grandson is carrying a completely different name not any of my family names nor his mothers. What about his inheritance, biologically and socially? I am his father’s mother. And with divorces adding names, I’m only one piece of so many more grandparents he has. Each one is a piece of what he carries. The name doesn’t represent his inheritance well. Yet he will only carry one name of importance. And that is significant since on the father’s father’s father’s side, he is the only one to continue carrying that name and everyone understands it’s important to continue carrying that ONE name. Yet there is no problem with the ending of not carrying all the other names? Oh my.
Here, again, that significant name brings the question…..how important is that one branch when the tree is filled with many? And when it comes to his mother’s mother’s, mother’s, mother’s etc. line there isn’t one name of importance to identify this lineage. And it is quite different than mine. A whole set of other people. Which set will count? Which will be ignored?
BACK TO ME.
That tree line, for me, instead of one simple name Henninger, looks like this: Fink, Becker, Lenhart, Heinly, Leiby, Dunkel, Leiby. Dunkel, Diehl; my foremothers who lived before me in 9 generations in the United States. karen-sarah-ellen-stella-laura-jane-minnie-marydiana-theresa-amelia-catherine-christianacaroline-mary-mary-annie-elizabeth-elizabeth-maria-rachel-sarah-mariabarbara-susannah-elizabeth-lusina- magdelena… a chain of names that links to me with other names. Like rings of the trunk of a tree, my mothers were the truck of my family tree.
I REPEAT, WHAT TO DO?
What a mess it would be to count my moms! But it isn’t just chaos. There can be order. The chaos is only a temporary state until we align facts and perceptions fit facts. What would bringing all that fact forward look like? It’s real. It’s there already, anyway. It’s just a matter of acknowleding the existence.
WHAT IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE; HOW WE SEE IT NOW
Here is what it is. It is quilt like. It is mosaic. Fragments. Many pieces together combined. It’s not one line of sameness like the name.
The whole worldview of our entire society changes from our established default. It isn’t simple. It is profound – and threatening to established order even to consider in thought.
The fantastic idea that started with an unidentified person in ancient history with a few people claiming to have royal blood connected to a line of Kings that goes to God himself as the only pure valued, pure bloodline to God; this ancient history ends. We all are children of God is more of what we believe even if we don’t quite practice it.
There are no illegitimate children in the mosaic line, rather than the pure blood (named) line because having a mother is enough to make you legitimate as not only a child of worth, but having a family despite the father’s, father’s father’s, father’s etc. names and all the rules that cater to that value. Everyone today can have the same basic relationship to God as any Prince or Princess, Hilton or Dupont child does today. We don’t need to have someone give us a connection to God as special children. We don’t need to mimic the royal blood line practices.
The idea of pure blood that is needed from father to son and the idea of women being pure virgins as to not taint the pure blood line ends. It’s myth. Not science. Women’s biology isn’t just a vessel for the pure blood and divinity coming from the fathers of some special line based on who wins wars and conquers lands. Also, Women’s sexuality emerges from out of the clamped down idea that sex makes a woman a slut. That somehow the only divinity and purity of a woman can be had when she doesn’t have sex and then through a relationship with a husband. A child born out of wedlock is no less of a child than when born within wedlock. It’s biology. Not name and marriage that creates human value. It’s being human that is the basis of a human’s value, not being connected to a certain father’s name.
The idea of the pure name-blood line bonded to having an historic value, or accomplishment, or religion, or being a skin color, or being born to wealth disappears. People are valued for who they are not what family they are attached to and what wealth accumulation the inherit.
The idea of royal blood in princes and princesses in contrast to a degraded name born to heroin addicts, slaves os whores; this ends. The idea of a blood line that justifies the special treatment of families that gather resources in it’s name and pass on wealth through such a name threatens our established order. The order, while established, is also already completely in states of chaos.
The tradition and idea that some men’s work can hoard enormous profits to accumulate wealth over a lifetime to pass on to sons while others work, despite the true value for such families to pass on poverty would have no umbrella name. There would be no umbrella names.
And the traditions that deny women not only the ability to have such an umbrella name as their own, but also to have an inheritance from their mother’s, unattached to men’s wealth and control, from their own work; those traditions end.
I think I’ve made my point. The world as is established would change in every breath we breath.
So I’m not so anxious to even put these thoughts into print. Because know what? How do I include my mothers?
The idea of a pure blood line that follows the simple name is false. It is myth and however great that mythology has served some people. It doesn’t serve all of us and it lacks fact as far as human lives being born on this planet. Truth might cause disrupt and change in harmful ways, but the harm we witness today is largely based in false beliefs about who we are as humans.
CONNECTING THE PRESENT TO THE PAST
I’m not saying something new, though. George Washington and the fathers of this country have made the United States a country without a King; without the royal blood. All men are created equal is an statement of independence from the Fathers and their Rule. Fathers of Royalty and Fathers of Religion.
But only on the surface. The traditions, beliefs and ideas that established Kings by royal blood mythology in the first place were never removed. They are still with us.
I feel it is even daring to say what actually has been the movement of freedom in our country since day one. We’ve already dismantled so many of the ideas that contributed to the established order. In some ways, we don’t know what to do with the freedom we have. While we all embrace our freedoms won, we struggle with the changes and logic that come with it. We often are more comfortable in what we grew up with and we get uncomfortable with others around us that might take their freedom a bit farther than we want for ourselves.
But we must remember that the ideas of a royal blood of Kings that come from God himself as God’s children has no basis, in fact, as if the rest of us are heretics and have corrupted, unclean Blood. We, as humans, all have the same blood.
We know scientifically that blood may be A, B, or O, but blood is not pure or impure based on how much money your father’s father’s father made. And the blood of a child is not just the fathers from one line of descent. The child is a mosaic of a variety of people that numbers in the thousands with many names and attributes.
We already have come out of false illusions of such sorts. Science has proven many wrong ideas about women, slaves and the poor as inferior beings. But the beliefs still threaten our ability to look at our world scientifically at our own genetics, and others, without distortion.
The beliefs can sway the questions we ask ourselves because of our own built in logic has not the conception to ask questions outside of such established logic.
MOTHERS ABSOLUTELY MATTER.
And as far as my mother’s are concerned, our inherite beliefs are the foundation for the false illusion that men’s blood somehow is more important than women’s blood. That’s men’s sperm overrides mother’s contributions based on inherited false beliefs about fathers and their bodies. Science has long ago debunked such ideas of our blood. It’s now DNA and genetics that will be the reason for our understandings of who we are. But we risk losing site that we still have all the same genetics as we focus on our differences just as we’ve done with blood.
Maybe some of us can ignore facts. But some of us can’t. When it comes to law and order, facts are important.
AND GENEALOGY WORK
What I know is how value works in this world. What I know is what I lived. What I know is my story and the stories I’ve learned from others.
But I don’t know everything. Is my mother’s father’s mother’s father’s mother’s contribution to my DNA less or more than my father’s, father’s, father’s, father’s, father’s, fathers DNA? Or my mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, mother’s DNA? How is it possible to take such complexity and reduce it to categories? How is valuable? What is being lost in our need for simplicity to define, categorize and number? What order are we creating for future generations?
I have lots to learn.