My Heritage Essay Example

My ancestors are from all around the world, but they all came to America to create a better life for future generations. From Germany to Canada, they all ended up in Washington when they moved to the United States, and my family has not moved out of the state since they arrived. My ancestors are part of what makes me who I am, and without them, I may not love the things I love. Everything around me influences me, and I have grown accustomed to the pace and life in Washington. I have never looked so far into my family history before, and although I’ll never have the full stories, what I do know has shaped me into who I am today.

Although my Grandma Jan was born and raised in Washington, her grandparents came from four differents countries. Her dad’s mom was from Canada, and her dad’s dad was from Germany. He spoke German while living in Germany, but learned English as he began living in America. My grandma’s maiden name was Hilts, but it was originally Hiltz with a “z.” Her grandpa changed it after moving to America to sound more American. Grandma Jan’s mom Martha Mildred had one brother who was in the navy, and was a music teacher, which may contribute to my love of music, even though I don’t play any instruments. Her parents were from Finland and Sweden, and both spoke their home country’s language as their first language. Martha’s dad Grandpa Nilsson, as my grandma called him, was a longshoreman, and I too love the water, and would find it dreamy to be able to work on the water.

Speaking of water, my Grandpa Jim is a lover of all things boats and the water, and his ancestors were from England and Germany. From what he remembers, his grandparents spoke English with no trace of a German accent when he was growing up. He and his sister estimate that their ancestors moved to the United States around 1850 because of all of the opportunities that awaited them. His ancestors’ biggest struggle was when the Great Depression hit from 1929 to 1939. Grandpa Jim’s grandfather kept a record of his jobs after graduating from college, and he only recorded “odd jobs” during the ten-year period. Even though they did not retain any of the customs and cultures, my ancestors were able to adapt to life in the United States without any problems that influenced their future generations.

While trying to find my place in the world, looking back at my ancestry helps me see where I came from and how past generations have overcome their struggles. They took a chance in moving to America, which inspires me to take chances, even though it does not happen that often.


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