Saturday, January 9, 2021

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Do You Take after From Your Parents and Grandparents?

Get ready to dissect yourself for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver!

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along; cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!):

What do you "take after" or "favor" from your parents and/or grandparents?  It could be looks, traits, mannerisms, speech, etc.

(2) Put it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a link in a comment to this post.

My thanks to reader Liz Tapley for suggesting this topic.

Physical Traits and Size

• My brown hair and eyes are from my father.  When I was young he taught me that brown eyes meant I was "full of it up to there."

• My very, very fair skin that can turn red in just five minutes out in the sun is definitely from my mother.  She told me once that she had gotten skin cancer when she was young, so I've always been a little paranoid about that.

• My "robust" chest certainly didn't come from my mother (who used to call herself the president of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee).  I can probably credit either of my grandmothers for that.

• My height also didn't come from my mother, who was barely 5'2" ("eyes of blue, oh, what those five foot could do").  My father was 6'1" in his prime, so at 5'8" I guess I'm right in the middle.  I'm giving the credit to my father, especially since I would have been taller without the scoliosis and curvature.

• I have my father to thank for my big feet, also.  Not many people my height wear size 12 women's/10 men's shoes, another indication I really should been have taller.  My hands are really big for my height, too.

• My voice is all my mother's.  I sound a lot like her, so much so that when she passed away my stepfather had trouble listening to me talk on the phone for quite some time.

• I used to have a very large mole on my back, which my mother told me was the "Brainin family mole."  According to her, each Brainin family member and descendant had a mole right around the same place on the back.  Mine supposedly was the largest.  Was, because when it began to cause me pain, I saw a dermatologist who excised it and did a biopsy on it to make sure everything was okay.  It was okay, but now I have a scar instead of the mole.

• When I was younger, my mother told me at one point that her father had had flat feet and that's why he was unable to serve in the Army during World War II.  So I guess I have him to thank for my flat feet.

• I'm a lifelong klutz, which my mother said also came from her.

• Who do I look like?  Definitely my sister and half-sister (who also has brown hair, thanks to our mutual father but probably also to her mother).  (I also used to resemble my stepsister, which was kind of weird.)  When I was only with my mother, though, people knew immediately that we were related, so I must resemble her to some degree.  And when our whole family (father, mother, me, brother, sister) was together, everyone knew we were related, so that's another indication of resemblance.  When I met my half-first cousin once removed (the son of my father's niece through his half-sister; my family is really complicated), he immediately thought I looked like my paternal grandmother (his great-grandmother).  His mother thought he focused on that because he had been raised by my grandmother (which is a long story).  But I was told that when I was a baby, others also saw a strong resemblance to my grandmother

Mannerisms and Other Traits

• Along with sounding like my mother, I also talk a lot like her.  I used to pick up her New York City/Boston accent, and I use a lot of her phrases.  At times when I say something I can hear her voice in my head.

• I can credit both of my parents for my intelligence and curiosity.  They were both intelligent and encouraged me (particularly my mother) to think about and explore things.  I think my mother later came to regret that.

• My love for sports also comes from both my parents, who watched all sorts of sports on TV all the time.  My favorite is still football.  Now, my mother would watch golf and boxing, but I have my limits.

• Daddy gave me my love of cars and motorcycles, and transportation in general.  I used to hang over the engine compartment with him while he was working on a car.  I knew the engine parts and all the tools, and would run to get tools when he needed them.

• My ability in music comes from my father.  He was very talented, played piano and guitar, and competed on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour with a swing band when he was about 17 (with his group losing to a young Gladys Knight, in her first televised appearance).  Who knows, if he hadn't been lazy, he might have made a career out of music, and I wouldn't be here.

• My mother gave me a deep love of language.  She liked to play word games, such as creating "Spoonerisms" such as "chu blip stamps" (Blue Chip stamps) and "chotato pips" (potato chips) and talking about the "oneth of the month" (first day of the month).  She got me hooked on crossword puzzles, which I still enjoy.  And she sparked my interest in foreign languages.

• Even now, my handwriting strongly resembles my mother's, which resembled her mother's.  So there we have a three-generational thing going.


  1. You have a very nice list there. I didn't know moles were inherited.

    1. I don't know if they actually are genetic, but that's what my Mommy told me. :)

  2. I love the Spoonerisms. It reminds me of the way Cockney English is almost a foreign language.

    1. When I was in France at a campground in Biarritz, a couple of Brits came in and set up their tent. Their Cockney English accent was so heavy that at times it was a foreign language to me; I simply could not understand what they were saying!

  3. Well, what a surprise! My brother actually read my blog this past weekend and sent me some comments on this post:

    "I have a bald head from Zadie [maternal grandfather], my formerly light colored hair from Mom, height and feet and general body shape from Dad, and our love of collecting (or hoarding, as Sandra [his wife] would say) comes from both. I also have a large Brainin mole in the middle of my back."

    He forgot to include the blue eyes he got from our mother and her mother, and the ambidexterity that came from that grandmother (she was left-handed), so I'm going to remind him. :)


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