My Cultural Tree Essay

Submitted By adhibler1
Words: 1931
Pages: 8

My Cultural Tree
Adrianna Hibler
Personal Narrative Assignment
SOCI 1020-Wb01

My name is Adrianna Hibler, originally Adrianna Desiree Hathaway. I have been married to my best friend for almost eleven years. My husband and I have three wonderful children, and we look forward to growing with them. This however, isn’t about me right now, so much as it is about who and what I am, where I came from. I am an only child of a mixed multi-racial relationship. Of course at this point most everyone is mixed some where along the lines. My mom is of a mixed hispanic heritage and is from a smaller town in northern Arizona, Flagstaff. My Father on the other hand is from a more European decent, and he was originally from Lansing, Michigan. We can start with my fathers side of the story. Hathaway is an English last name, and thanks to a wonderful couple several generations back we acquired the name when they adopted a young red-headed Irish boy. This little boys original last name was Mc Robert. My father found that prior to entering Elis island, Mc Robert was originally Mc Robb. Since then it has been a colorful array of cultural mixing, with my great grandmother on my fathers maternal side being from Germany. I however relate most to the Irish side of our culture, since I believe it plays the biggest role. The Irish came to the eastern U.S. in large numbers around the 1800’s-1830’s, and with them they brought their culture and religion, Catholicism (Irish Americans. Worldmark Encyclopedia p. 300). Religion and spirituality play a huge role in Irish culture. Religiously and culturally sexual orientation is not open for debate, you are a heterosexual or you never claim otherwise. At least that is how it was prior to current times. This also meant that the Irish had a very patriarchal system at home where the men worked and women stayed home to raise the children. The Irish didn’t have an easy time here in the U.S. and were highly discriminated against for “their willingness to work for extremely low wages.” They may not have been skilled but they were not afraid of hard work. It was during that time when the “Drunken Irish,” and “ignorant Irish” stereotypes were formed. At that time they were lower than low class and it took many decades for them to establish themselves to low and then middle class (Irish Americans. Worldmark Encyclopedia p.300). The Irish were easy to spot for the most part with a few distinguishing features such as pale skin and freckles and many had red hair. Generations later those features are still seen, my father and two of his siblings sport the Irish red hair. Family for the Irish was very important. It was also why they fled their homeland. Their names were a big part of who they were. The Mc Robb’s and O’Kelly’s and many others held their name close to their hearts. It’s as much who they were as it was their past and how to identify friend from foe. I know that when my great-great grandfather was orphaned that he was adopted. Even though he loved and respected his adoptive parents he made sure to pass his Irish name as well. Since he was given a new last name he made sure to name his first born son Robert and most of the men in the family have found ways to incorporate Robert into the names of their children. For example my grandfather’s name was Robert and my father’s name is Robert, my grandfather didn’t want to have a junior so my father went by his middle name for most of his life. Several cousins who know that my father didn’t have any sons have asked if it was ok to name their sons Robert Mark Hathaway out of respect for our heritage and the family that took us in. I have also kept with tradition to a degree. My oldest son’s name is Joseph Robert. I wanted him to have both families, my husbands and mine.

My mother’s decent is a little muddier than my dad’s which wasn’t clear cut either. My family on her side is a mix of Native Americans and Mexican