Question of the Week: What's a trait or characteristic you've inherited from an ancestor?

+6 votes
What's a trait or characteristic you've inherited from an ancestor?
in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
reshown ago by Chris Whitten
Oops, wrong place, see below.

28 Answers

+9 votes
I understand that my Scottish ancestors have been known for their practicality and frugality. This was never more explicit than when I lived with my paternal grandmother. I tend to fix things and not throw much of anything away. I watch sales and often buy things that have been used.
ago by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Mach 7 (77.3k points)
That must be true for most people of Scottish ancestry because I also prefer to buy the bargains and not the full price items whenever possible!! LOL   And I am at least half Scottish - the rest being English, Irish and Scandinavian.
I too, am very "Scottish" in that way. I never even knew I have Scottish ancestry until in my 60s  :-)
+7 votes
I have the trait, often characterized as Jewish, of loving a bargain.  My favorite activity is to go shopping, but unlike the New York Jewish princess I was raised to be, my favorite stores are second hand stores, thrift shops, and don't leave out yard sales!  When someone compliments me on one of my "finds" that I have refurbished (and usually completely repurposed), I love to brag about how little I paid for it.
ago by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (675k points)
Gaile, you are my kind of gal, bet we could be great friends!
I am with you, my friend. And you too Alexis.
+6 votes
Many of my ancestors were Mennonite. As apostates of the Lutheran apostates, they were religious mavericks. I have that trait, that and an aversion to violence. Had my family stayed with the church (they were apostates from the Mennonites) I might have made a good Mennonite... or not.
ago by John Burkholder G2G1 (1.3k points)
+9 votes
Haven't we inherited EVERYTHING from our ancestors?
ago by Sue Hall G2G6 Pilot (111k points)
+5 votes
My g-grandmother was very strong and not easily manipulated. She came to the defense of the "under dog". As I worked back her line I also found I descend from Godgifu, Lady Godiva, who was also strong and stood up for the down trodden. I have been that way since I was a little girl, whether child, adult or animal.
ago by Jamie Thompson G2G5 (5.3k points)
I can totally relate to that.  Both my grandparents and their families were extremely stubborn.  However my maternal grandmother and her whole line made me extremely preservant under the most trying of circumstances.  I also always found the need to stick up for the "under dog" no matter what.  Not to pass judgement on people because of their looks, jobs, race, or what they owned.  That everyone is their own unique individual and should be treated that way.
Me, too, Elaine.  And one of my daughters would get in trouble in school for that reason.  Once in high school, she took up for a boy the teacher was verbally downgrading for no real reason.  Result:  when my daughter tried out for the drill team, she was blacklisted by that teacher.
+7 votes
This is an easy question for me to answer. My red hair.

My grandma Leinen had red hair. She passed it on to my mom, who passed it on to me.  I passed it on to both of my children, who passed it on to 3 of my 5 grandchildren. 1 of 2 of my g-grandchildren have red hair, but I have another one coming this month, so we shall see.
ago by Cheryl Hess G2G6 Pilot (773k points)
It's funny, but I have no idea where my red hair came from.  My mother's jet black hair, brown eyes, and olive complexion caused her to often be taken for Italian.  My father had dark brown hair and brown eyes.  I am a green-eyed redhead with chalk white skin and freckles.  Funny, but my eyes used to be a deep green, however in the last 20 years or so they have faded and are now light blue.  FTDNA had an eye color predictor they were testing - they asked for feedback about how accurate it is - mine was the exact green that I started life with!

My children are both blue eyed blonds.  My 3 grandsons have dark brown, blonde, and light brown, 2 are blue eyed and 1 is brown eyed.  Their mother has dark brown hair and eyes, though.  I'm on the verge of becoming a great grandmother any day now - can't wait to see how he turns out!
Gaile, isn't that interesting? My eyes were green. Both of my parents were brown, but grandma's were blue. Mom said her eyes were hazel when she was younger. My daughter's eyes are brown, and my son had gray eyes. Grandchildren are a mix of blue and brown.
Thank you for selecting my answer, Elaine. That was very sweet of you.
Well I am kind of really missing my long red hair right now.  I became older and spent a year growing it out and now I have a mostly grey pixie for now.  My mother had a fit that I was doing so but after a while she realized that I was too stubborn to give in. ;)
Elaine, I bet you are missing it. I am old as dirt, but still have long red hair. My husband wants me to cut it, but it took too long to grow it. Are you sorry it is short?
Mine has been that way for well over thirty years.  It just became too expensive and time consuming having to use wholesale top of the line professional products to cover it constantly.  Although I can say that Redkin Color Fusion works the best by far.  Just in case you ever need the advice.  I do desperately miss it and can't wait to grow the grey out longer.  The odd thing is that no one recognizes me any longer.  It does make me wonder if I was in fact defined by others only by my red hair.
Thank you for the advice. I will remember that. My mother has colored her hair for so long, even she doesn't remember the exact shade of red she used to have. Grandma colored her hair, but decided to let it grow out naturally, and had the most beautiful white hair. I have had my hair short, but have a cowlick in the back of my hairline. Have a wonderful day, Elaine, and thanks for chatting.

Eye color is somewhat understandable. There are dominant and recessive genes that carry eye color. Brown dominates blue and blue dominates green and green-like.

A Punnett Square is a tool one can use to predict or at least explain possible outcomes.

D. thank you for that information. If my grandmother had blue eyes, did that somehow travel through my mom's genes to my sister who ended up with blue eyes, even though mom had brown/hazel eyes?
Your grandmother passed the allele for blue eyes to your mother. Your mother had brown which dominated the blue allele. But she carried the recessive blue allele. Can’t leave your grandfather and father out of the equation. If your grandfather had brown eyes he had to have the recessive blue. Then what about your father? Your mother had blue, so her two alleles were both recessive. Your father had to have a blue recessive if he did not have blue eyes.

Too hard to send a Punnett Square explanation here. It’s just probability.
Meant to say your sister had blue, not your mother.
+7 votes
Judging from photos, my big forehead!
ago by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (103k points)
I have a big forehead as well. My friends like to ask me, "Lisa, why the long face?" I can't bring myself to get bangs, ( I like to be able to put my hair behind my ears), which would take some of the emphasis off of it.
I used to get baby bangs (aka Bettie Page bangs) and I loved them! Everyone likes them, they're short so they don't hang in your eyes and you don't notice them so much, plus they still do a good job of covering our foreheads.
+5 votes
I think the abbreviation ADHD was created for us. Where I can see it or even know it was diagnosed in many of my cousins, looking back I see it as wanderers and alcoholics. Many were out of step with their neighbors.
ago by Judy Bramlage G2G6 Mach 8 (80.7k points)
+7 votes
A desire to serve God and of my great grandfathers of old was Sir Thomas More,1478-1575 . I just learned this fact in 2019.  I have always had a bent toward the Christian faith, trusted Christ as my Saviour when I was 22 years old and have a desire to serve my country and people, through childhood activity in churches, and as an adult in youth clubs, and through national political electoral ridings as a Board member.
ago by Kathleen Foster G2G Crew (890 points)
+7 votes
Most certainly the German short temper and inability to shut my mouth when angry. In my early ancestry 2 of my Luckhoff ancestors left the church after having refusing Nazism in Germany. One of my great uncles was asked to leave his ministry in SA due to his clashes with theother clergymen, so yes, the temper rules ..
ago by Janette Engelbrecht G2G3 (3.8k points)
Janette, I have to admire your ancestors’ principled stands. Maybe it wasn’t so much anger as much as a desire to be faithful to what they believed. A worthy legacy you can be proud of.
Thank you Pip, yes, my Luckhoff lineage my pride in life. A huge number of Dominees, some very well known, some not, but all firmly believed in their calling. I am much the dame, very passionate about whatever I try next..LOL..
It doesn't get any better than to have inherited a Legacy of Faith.   Scripture says that those who place their Faith in Jesus , have the Faith of Abraham.   Very good to be counted into the family of Abraham and not even be Jewish.
+5 votes
In the line of my maternal grandmother is a remarkable language ability.  My grandmother and her twin sister spoke five languages, four of them with native fluency.  Their great-grandfather is known to have spoken at least nine languages.  I remember my grandmother's sister teaching me a few phrases of Italian and French when I was about seven years old.  I don't remember the phrases.  But I remember her telling me that I would probably be very good at learning languages.

I don't have anything like her accomplishments, but I have studied four foreign languages.  And it seems I have to make much less effort to learn a foreign language than other students do.  I enjoy languages, and have a copy editor's mind and eye in English.
ago by Kate Hunter G2G1 (1.7k points)
+5 votes
I recognize the fact that I'm part German because in my very soul I know life is better because of cured meats. Ham forever! I can't live without it.
ago by Judi Stutz G2G6 Mach 2 (22.5k points)
+5 votes
I am a proud descendant of the Tedesco nose (TM). Those big Italian noses. My dad has it. I have it. My brother doesn't. LOL.

I have my grandfather's dark hair and I tend to walk with my hands behind my back like my other grandfather. My dad's bald. But, I've yet to lose any hair. So I think I have that from my mom's side.

My skin also tends to tan VERY quickly and when it does, it's an olive colored tan. It tends to fade, though.

That's all I can think of right now!
ago by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (248k points)
+5 votes
I inherited an aptitude for science from both sides of my family. I inherited shyness from my mother's side. I inherited stubbornness from my Scottish ancestors, and preciseness from the German and Swiss. Unfortunately, I inherited my father's poor housekeeping ability.

I also am thrifty and find ways to re-use things, and don't throw away anything that could be useful, as some of the other answers here, however, I attribute that to being a 2nd generation depression baby, as my parents were born in 1930, rather than genes, but it may well be both.
ago by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 4 (45.1k points)
+5 votes
I recently found a picture of my Irish Great Grandmother and now the question of where my whole families nose comes from is answered. Not big, not small, slightly large nostrils (flared looking) and an upturned round tip. All of my brothers and cousins inherited this nose, and their children.  I find it amazing that she stamped us all with this. And actually thankful as its not a bad nose. And VERY glad we did not get my other Grandmothers nose. It was a bit of a honker. LOL

ago by Marcella Nadler G2G Crew (750 points)
In defense of the one grandma's honker... I've found a lot of guys like a big nose on a gal!
Well I guess my Grandfather did. LOL But she also had high cheekbones and bright blue eyes, with black hair.
+3 votes

Going prematurely grey, then white. I am in my late 20s and have mostly grey hair. My dad went grey in his early 20s, and was white by his early 30s. My grandfather went white in his 30s. My great-grandfather had white hair by the time he was 44. It seems to come from my 3x great-grandfather John Robinson; although I don't know when his hair went white, the photos I have of him show he has the exact same snowy white hair that all my father's family has.

ago by James Knighton G2G6 (9.7k points)
+3 votes
Breathing - although they have given it up and I haven't yet, thankfully. Also maybe religion - seem to be quite a few clergy in my family as I build the tree and while I am not clergy - I am a believer and that has come down through the family.
ago by Sarah Jenkins G2G2 (2.8k points)
+3 votes

For me, it's a love of the great outdoors and outdoor adventure.  On my French Canadian side (paternal) they were farmers going back at least 10 generations.  Also, they were explorers and adventurers.  On my mother's East European side, they were travellers.  I worked as a parks planner and manager, while looking after my hobby farm with horses, goats and a large vegetable garden during my spare time.   My retirement so far consists of exploring and hiking in each and every national park in the USA and Canada.  I no longer have farm animals but I still have a vegetable garden and fruit trees.

ago by Mattie Coutts G2G Crew (990 points)
+3 votes
A frenum which is an over-growth of muscle on the gums between the two front teeth which causes a gap. I believe it is from my maternal side as I see it on my uncle, grandma, and brother; all of whom seem to wear it better than me. I have always had a habit of grinding my teeth when I sleep so my teeth went buck in addition to the huge gap. I was suppose to have it surgically removed in grade school; however, I freaked out in a week long panic attack as I also had a terrible phobia of doctors, especially dentists so my parents let it go as I couldn't eat, sleep, or think of anything except being held down and having needles stuck in my gums. My medical related panic was so severe that I couldn't look forward to anything that was suppose to happen after a dentist appointment as I thought I would die in the chair.
ago by Lisa Perry G2G Crew (460 points)
Lisa, this is a true story. Fifty three years ago, age twenty, I had my frenum removed and came home and took a nap. I woke up and started down the hall, and that is all I remember.   I was found on the floor with a large break in the drywall and new sheetrock had to be put up and the entire hall repainted. My head must have hit the wall, but I have always been known for being hard headed. The whole incident upset my poor grandmother, who was the only other person in the house.
+3 votes

I have my grandfather's (Truslow 201) nose and wavy hair.

ago by Dorothy Truslow G2G3 (3.8k points)

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