Growing up my mom always told us we were Irish heritage. She even insisted upon a family trip to Ireland to basically see the nation of our heritage.
...fast forward 8 years, I remarked to my aunt that we were Irish, and she giggled and said on your Dad's side. She said something about being German and I did not really comprehend what she was saying because my mom had said she was Irish and French (French Canadian).
...Fast forward to a couple days ago. My dad has been working steadily on our family tree for at least 2 years now. He started with his own family: his mom and dad, their parents and so on. He has come as nearly as far as he can with public records available (about the 1820's). But only last week he began on my mom's heritage.
I was shocked at what came out. I mean I was in a tizzy. My mom's family is not a little bit German. Her family is very German and Swedish on her dad's side. No surprises on her mom's side. They were all French Canadian like she said. However, she had led me to believe her father's side was Irish. We have documented four generations back (she confirmed the names and places) and they are only German and Swedish.
I keep asking her who told her that she was Irish? Her sister seems to know that they are of German heritage and yet, my mom still wanted to deny being German and claim the Irish. She insists there are some Irish relatives in there. My dad has not been able to find them. (Although, I have since managed to get her to claim her heritage, begrudgingly.)
I think this is a case of my mom grew up in a time when Germans were not the world's most favorite people, but the Kennedy's were famous Irish Catholics, and everyone loved them. So why not be Irish.
I can still claim some Irish heritage. My dad really does have enough Irish great grandparents in his tree to claim being Irish. He is also very English. But it turns out I was chasing the wrong ancestors.
I am very grateful my dad is documenting the family tree. At first I was a little apathetic, but, I have enjoyed knowing my heritage.
My dad also sheepishly wanted to tell my mom, she may not have any Irishmen in her family tree, but at least she doesn't have and petty criminals in her family tree like he does.
Here is my little German-Irish girl. I love these pictures, because anytime I tell her I am going to take a picture of her, she strikes a pose. The poses she comes out with!!! So great.
May God grant you many years