“I am Carol Patrice Christ, daughter of Jane Claire Bergman, daughter of Lena Marie Searing, daughter of Dora Sofia Bahlke, daughter of Mary Hundt who came to Michigan from Mecklenburg, Germany in 1854. I come from a long line of women, known and unknown, stretching back to Africa.”
Like many Americans, my ancestral history was lost and fragmented due to emigration, religious and ethnic intermarriage, and movement within the United States. Though one of my grandmothers spoke proudly of her Irish Catholic heritage and one of my grandfathers acknowledged his Swedish ancestry, I was raised to think of myself simply as “American,” “Christian” and “middle class.” Ethnic and religious differences were erased, and few stories were told.
Over the past two years, I have begun to discover details of my ancestral journey, which began in Africa, continued in the clan of Tara, and was marked by the Indo-European invasions. In more recent times, my roots are in France, Holland, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and Sweden. In the United States, my family has lived in tenements in New York City and Brooklyn, in poverty in Kansas City, and on farms in Long Island, Connecticut, upstate New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. My parents and grandparents settled in northern and southern California during the 1930s. I have lived in southern and northern California, Italy, Connecticut, New York, Boston, and now Greece.
Learning details about family journeys has created a shift in my sense of who I am. Continue reading “Connection to Ancestors in Earth-based Theology by Carol P. Christ”