Time travel as close as your local cemetery.

I am resolved to find my past

July 1, 2014 / by davidwalton

bigstock_vector_new_year_s_resolutions__15424310New Year’s Eve: a time for looking back while looking ahead to the coming year. We reflect on changes we want to make in our lives and make every attempt to follow through.

Almost half of Americans set New Year’s resolutions; I’m one of those people. I usually compile my list of resolutions in the week leading up to January 1 so I can get a running start when the clock strikes midnight.

My past resolutions have included: joining a gym, changing my diet, learning something new, saving money, getting organized, traveling to a new country, helping others and spending more time with family and friends.

But this year I’ve decided to try something different. I’m adding two additional resolutions to my already created list in hopes of accomplishing them between now and the end of fall. I’ll get to those in a minute. First, I wanted to talk about a 2014 resolution I was able to recently check off my list.

I bought a DNA kit to find out just where exactly my ancestors once lived hundreds of years ago. My results arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. I was always told my ancestors arrived to America from Germany and Ireland. Well, those rumors were partially correct, according to my DNA kit from Ancestory.com. But my DNA can also be traced to Scandinavia. (No wonder I like Minnesota and its cold climate so much!)

My DNA results from Ancestory.com.

My DNA results from Ancestory.com.

Although I haven’t had a chance to check it out, one of the amenities of the Ancestry.com DNA kit is the site provides you with a list of DNA member matches that include a predicted relationship. And as more people join the site, those matches will also be added to your list. I’m looking forward to making the acquaintance of some of my relatives, especially those across the Atlantic.

Now, back to my two additional 2014 resolutions:

The first is training. I ran my first marathon last year in Minnesota. Despite several months of intense training, I performed far worse than expected. A little more than half way through the race, I got light-headed and dehydrated and had to do a combination of walking and jogging the remainder of the race. I knew I was doomed when elderly runners started passing me by! I hadn’t set out to break any records; I just wanted to cross the finish line which I did! No one said running 26.2 miles was easy. But I do hope to redeem myself this year with a much better time.

My second additional resolution has to do with tracing my ancestors, especially one in particular — my paternal great-great-grandfather, John Walton. He abandoned his wife and my grandfather right after he was born. Rumor has it he left Kentucky and made a new home in Arkansas.

Am I related to the late Walmart founder Sam Walton?  I intend to find out.

Am I related to the late Walmart founder Sam Walton?
I intend to find out.

I can’t help wonder if he’s somehow connected to the billionaire Walton family of Walmart fame. I intend to find out. Although not much is known about my great-great-grandfather, I intend to leave no stone unturned in my search for information. I’m not so much interested in whether I’m related to the famous clan, although that would be kind of cool. I just want to know what happened to my kin when he vanished from the Bluegrass State.

Until next time…


One thought on “I am resolved to find my past

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am on the DNA list too. Maybe we will be kinfolk! You could be a millionaire and not know it!

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