Today is a day set apart for remembering the ancestors. This subject has been of particular interest to me recently as I have spent several months and many many hours researching my ancestral lines and analysing research which was initiated by others decades ago.
Many times in the past I have discussed the concept of the Gods residing in the blood, in the DNA and in the Racial Collective Unconscious. I have always accepted this as a truth and one of the cardinal pillars of our religion. The concept was admirably elucidated by Carl Gustav Jung in his 1936 essay, Wotan, an essay which I am sure most of my readers will be familiar with.
I have traced one line of ancestry via my paternal grandmother to the year 1500 and they were Yeomen resident for centuries in Lancashire who farmed their estates. Some of their wills make for interesting reading and I have found a record of a pitched battle fought over the rights to certain land, a battle which landed the said parties in court!
In the 1970s my late father started to mention to me on quite a regular basis our ancestry from a certain noble line. This ancestry began to be researched by a female friend of my father's sister back in the 1980s. Since then much more work has been carried out and the whole thing expanded as we are now in the era of the Internet where much more information is readily available and at a quicker pace. A few months ago I was able to trace the aforesaid ancestry back via certain noble families which I am descended from back to notable figures from history such as Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy, Charlemagne and famous English and German kings, in particular Alfred the Great. Extending this historical research further back I have found 3 lines of descent back to the God Woden and 4 other lines back to His Scandinavian counterpart, Odin, 3 via Ragnar Lothbrok who is descended from the Volsungs and another line of descent took me back to Rollo who is claimed to be a descendant of Odin. I am also descended from Yngvi-Frey via the Inglings.
Prior to carrying out this research the mother of my child disclosed to me evidence from her family tree which indicates that she also is descended from the Volsungs so the Volsung blood is present within my child via both her parents. She managed to trace this ancestry back via her maternal grandfather who was a decorated American soldier. I have come to the conclusion that this sort of thing is far more common than many people suspect. One often hears of people in the most ordinary of circumstances finding that they are descended from illustrious ancestors. The further we go forward in time away from these historical ancestors the more likely it is that more people proportionately will be descended from them as ancestral lines join and fuse together. Indeed anyone who manages to research their ancestry back to 400-500 years will find the same ancestor(s) appearing more than once. The further back you can go the more likely you are to find something interesting.
If we consider for a moment the following piece of mathematics:
8 great grandparents
16 great great grandparents
32 great great great grandparents
64 great great great great grandparents
128 great great great great great grandparents
256 great great great great great great grandparents
512 great great great great great great great grandparents
1024 great great great great great great great great grandparents, etc, etc
Don't forget: when you have a child their ancestral lines are double those of your own and as I have discovered as one moves further forward in time ancestral lines converge so it is vital dear readers that we maintain the biological purity of our lines and choose biologically suitable mates!
The further we go back into the past the more likely it is that the same great great great etc grandfather/mother will appear more than once. The population of western Europe 1000-1500 years ago of course is much smaller and the gene pool narrower. I have encountered different branches of the same families intermarrying after a few generations and the same ancestors occur sometimes more than once which demonstrates how narrow the gene pool was even 400-500 years ago.
In England and Wales civil registration of births has only been a legal requirement since 1837. Prior to this one must resort to parish records although many of these have been digitalised. One can also gain valuable information from records of marriages, death certificates, records of burials, baptisms, military records and census records which are particularly valuable. I was able to find information about my ancestors in the 16th century via records of wills. If you 'strike lucky' and find a notable ancestor then you will be able to use widely available historical records. I have traced my direct ancestors, lineal ancestors but I have had to go from male to female to male to female etc as it is not possible to locate all of one's forbears.
I have not been able to progress any research via my mother's lines due to the great difficulties that the German authorities place in the way of anyone researching their ancestors, particularly from abroad. I do know that this ancestry is entirely German going back to the 18th century due to the fact that SS wives had to have an Ahnenpass and Ahnentafel as a precondition to getting married. Foolishly she threw away this documentation after the war but since regretted it. Unfortunately she is no longer around for me to ask about our ancestry so let this be a lesson for all budding genealogists: pump your parents for information whilst they are still alive! Research on my maternal grandparents surnames; Bock and Klingebiel has been quite fruitful even though the latter name is quite rare and very local to certain specific areas such as the Harz mountains. I have managed to find 2 references to my grandfather being wounded during the First World War in 1915 and 1916 which confirms what I was told by my mother and his bravery on the field of battle earned him the Iron Cross.
It is more than likely that anyone reading this whose ancestry stems from England, Wales or Germany will share some of my ancestry. The further back we go the more likely statistically that this is true. Indeed I found some remarkable scientific research recently carried out which indicates that 50 % of western European men are descended from 1 single Bronze Age King. I believe that this percentage will be even higher in the British Isles as the Y haplotype that is indicated is R1b which is especially strong in Britain and Ireland and is shared by both Celts and Teutons. Indeed this now appears to be THE Indo-European or Aryan haplotype much to the chagrin of those who used to maintain that it was R1a!
The reasons why I have decided to pen this article is twofold: firstly to give honour to our ancestors on this hallowed day and secondly to encourage my readers if they have not already done so to begin to carry out their own research. Our ancestors want to be found! When carrying out this research I have felt the close presence of individual ancestors spurring me on to find them: it matters to them! The ancestors are very real and if we draw near to them they will draw near to us. I believe that the Volsung blood exists today: the last few months have convinced me of this and also I feel strongly that fellow initiates may very well share this Volsung blood or blood from similar bloodlines such as the Wuffingas. Woden dwells literally in the blood of His descendants and in the Aryo-Germanic race which He has sired. If we can wake up our folk to this very mystical fact then I am sure that the awakening that Jung wrote about in 1936 will happen again, here in England and in continental Germania. Our race is a race of Godmen but they must awaken to this truth. We can start with ourselves!
Indeed it is statistically possible although not proven, that most western Europeans may in fact also be descended from ancestors who claimed descent from Woden/Odin. This is particularly the case if you manage to find any trace of Norman blood in your ancestry as most of us know the Normans were not French at all but Danes and Norwegians who had adopted French culture after their conquest of parts of France. Many Norman names were anglicised over the centuries and so may not at first sight be recognisable as such. Thus it is vital that we examine both the origin and meaning of any surnames that we are linked to by ancestry, not just the one we have inherited from our Fathers. I have managed to find quite a few Norman surnames in my father's lines as well as Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and mediaeval English surnames. On my paternal grandfather's side there is much Cymric ancestry and I have now recalculated my Welsh ancestry to be 1/8, compared to 3/8 English and 4/8 (1/2) German. I am in the process of researching my grandfather's ancestry. My paternal great grandfather (father's father's father appears to have been fully Welsh which accounts for my Atlantic Modal Haplotype.
Prior to the Norman Conquest people did not have surnames as such but patronyms where they were named after their fathers or sometimes their mothers. This tradition continues today in modern Iceland. Surnames have 4 main origins: patronyms which eventually became fixed, surnames taken from one's environment, nick names and more often than not, occupational names which indicate that there was formerly a caste system in our societies. Examples of these are Wright, Rimmer etc. I am descended from several families with the Rimmer/Rimer/ Rymer/Rymmer surname which is indicative that some of my ancestors were poets or wandering minstrels. I have seen some theories which suggest that this name is of Viking origin and is derived from Grimr, a byname of Odin. Tied in with surname research is the study of place names. Frequently families were rooted in the same area for many centuries as were my paternal grandmother's ancestors, less so on my grandfather's side who came from various places such as Wales and Somerset for instance.
To summarise I feel that it is very important for all of us who are folkishly minded to research our ancestry and maintain an Ahnentafel which should be passed on to our children so that the knowledge of who they are and where they have come from is not lost. This is particularly important because of the impersonal and atomised age in which we live. By doing this we also show honour to our ancestors. Always remember that all of our ancestors, not just the illustrious ones are important for we are all links in the racial chain of our people!