My mom's side of the family keeps a pretty good history of the Hathaway family. That's the family of my grandfather. The emigrated from England in the 1600s. My grandmother's family are the Hallins of Sweden.
But I've known comparatively little about my father's side of the family. A couple of events have caused that. The first was my grandmother and grandfather's divorce in the 1960s. The separation wasn't amicable and the legal case when all the way to the Washington State Supreme Court. Lillian Solle Weiss remained estranged from the family afterward. The second event was my father's death in 1972. Without him around, I never heard any stories of the Weiss side of the family. I did live for a year with my grandfather, George "Arch" Weiss. But he was particularly taciturn.
Anyway, my aunt Sue wrote me last week and wanted to have dinner with me and my aunt Jane. My cousins Scott, David, and Sarah also showed up at the dinner, which was today. The occasion was that my aunts had put together a scrapbook of sorts on the Weiss side of my family. My grandmother Lillian died a couple of years ago, and my aunts got to scour through her records for anything related to the family. Using that and other records they put together the book.
It's not extremely detailed in descriptions. Mostly lots of pictures. Although a photographer, when my grandfather died he left behind very few pictures. But there's a few tidbits in the text that I never knew. I vaguely knew my grandmother's maiden name, Solle. Now I know that Solles are a French family from Alsace Lorraine, a territory that passed frequently between German and French control. And her mother, Flora Hansen, was of Danish origin.
So in addition to the English and Swedish heritage on my mothers' side and German on my father's side, I now know that my father's side also puts me at about ⅛ French and ⅛ Danish as well. I'm even more of a mutt than I thought I was. Due to the aforementioned events though, I've always tended to identify most with my Swedish heritage.