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Democratic National Convention; Philadelphia, 1948
An element of the intrigue of genealogy is the wonder of whom we take after: The mysteries of our DNA, our imprint, and which ancestors held physical similarities to our own.

It is a thrill to find a picture of an ancestor, several generations back, with your hair color or smile. But what about the intangibles? Do you believe your way of thinking is influenced by your environment or instead, wired by your DNA?

Recent scientific studies on our political leanings reveal some fascinating results. They provide evidence to the theory that we tend to tip our hat to one political view not solely due to our environment, but as a result of our DNA. Genes passed to us from our ancestors wire our brain to process information a certain way that is in turn, reflected in our political views.

Learning the political leanings of our ancestors provide a tasty treat when describing their histories. It can give depth to their story, an aspect of their personalities. And as our heads swirl in the current crossfire of the presidential election, we can drift into a more enjoyable pastime by exploring our ancestor's politics.

Discovering if an ancestor was liberal or conservative in their political thinking is a tricky endeavor but if you keep your eyes open for clues, you can whittle the truth. Family stories sometimes pass along a great grandparent's political affiliation and occasionally you can discern political leanings as a result of an ancestor's name.

I have an ancestor named after Benjamin Franklin, a founding father and eventual abolitionist. My ancestor's parents must have held high regard of their son's namesake. Though I can't pinpoint their political affiliation I can make assumptions of my ancestral political leanings by knowing their fondness of Ben Franklin.

Irish Republicans raised my great grandmother, but my mother observed her grandmother's strong admiration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, holding still with every word spoken during his great radio speeches.

Your ancestor's political associations can be imbedded within journals or family bibles. I recently was provided a copy of a great aunt's travel journal as she made her way to the 1948 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia; a fun fund and a great twist to a family history.

So escape the current mind-numbing political barbs and delve deeper into your family history by examining your ancestors with a political eye.

And as a treat, you just might discover whose political DNA you closely possess.

Keep searching for answers,

Cheryl
(Source: CNN.com)
 


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