When I talked about kid-safe cuss words last week, Rozanne pointed out that some of the ones I picked up from my grandparents are more commonly heard in Great Britain. Thanks to my maternal grandmother's faithful recording of family history, I know that her paternal grandparents were from Pancras, England, so I suppose it's possible that the family has carried forward some words and phrases from them all these generations. How else would you explain the prevalence of the phrase "...and Bob's your uncle" within an American family?
On my father's side of the family, the biggest geneaology buff is a monk in Luxembourg who has traced many branches of the family tree all over Scandinavia and across to the United States. My paternal grandfather and grandmother (whom I never met), emigrated to the United States from Sweden in the early part of the last century.
Of course, when you take two sides of the family into account, it can be difficult to tell where various influences come into play. You'd think that my excessively round pronunciation of the letter "o" might come from the Swedes on my dad's side, but I think it's really from all of my mother's folks who settled in South Dakota.
I'm always surprised when someone I meet doesn't know the origin of his or her last name or ancestors. I'm pleased to know little tidbits about the various English, Dutch, Swedish and German people whose genes I share.
Do you know much about your geneaology? What have you carried forward from your ancestors' traditions, speech patterns, etc.?