OUR COLORFUL FAMILIES

By James Ross Wiley - October, 2000.

About a year ago our clan association observed the SIXTH century of its first visit to this new world, nearly a century before Columbus. The story is an interesting one, with many gaps in it, such as which one of the ships' "captains" was the one who'd been here before and knew the way for this return visit. The monument erected in New England, where a Wiley clan member was buried on that 14th century visit, is an intersting one.

It's possible that this Wiley and some of his shipmates descended from earlier blue-faced, painted and tattooed Picts and Celts, from before the later divisions of ethnicities in those Isles. Perhaps they knew of, were related to, or were in some way part of the cloudy history of those Isles of which Shakespeare wrote when he cribbed his notes from an earlier "historian," Geoffery of Monmouth, who wrote of a particular king and queen of antiquity, Tristan and Isolde, or as she was known in Geoffery's histories, "Isolt the Fair," or "Isolt of the Fair Hands." (A historical speculator wondered if this meant that the palms of her hands were light, in contrast to her darker skin, since she was descended from the North African family of Moors and such, who emigrated to the British Isles back when all we had were oral traditions and histories.)

Ain't speculation great? Until we get all our links straightened out and join the larger family reunion of "Decscendants of Adam & Eve," it's fun and educational to track these tenuous links to our American ancestors and to those beyond our shores.

Some decades back when I first devled into some of this ancestral research, I snitched a page from a phone book in the Belmont County area. I shared this with a cousin in the area as I was beginning this research. My cousin grinned at me and wondered if I were going to establish links with ALL those Wileys I'd found, even the black ones. Hey, why not, I wondered. It's pretty likely that their g-grandparents weren't born with that surname, so maybe somewhere along the way our genetic pools crossed and link. Same for some of the earlier aboriginal inhabitants here in America, who may have been related to some of my pre-history tribes of the northern Indus Valley, before they shifted north then followed the herds of edible beasts over those chilly and frozen land links to the western hemisphere.

All of which is to illustrate, in a pretty un-scholarly manner, that our links and genes are much more alike than they are different. So if I detect a slight tone of cautiousness to include our cousins and bretheren of varying colors and hues and religions and philosophies, I'm up front here for establishing the links, for all to read and share and enjoy. Love the new areas of research being shared here!


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