Strange 'coincidenc...
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Strange 'coincidence': We discovered distant family roots in our new hometown

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My husband, Steven and I made a quick decision to move right after the Coronavirus madness started, from Michigan to Colorado, and ended up buying our homesteading property just 5 miles from where my husband's Great Great Grandpa was born, which we only just found out. Steven is not all that close with his Mother and she didn't mention his family ties to Colorado before we moved here, but only after seeing a picture of our adventure in nearby Hotchkiss. He had met his Great Grandpa as a child, and knew that his last name was Hotchkiss, but had no idea the connection until his Mom told him.

It turns out that his Great Grandpa's Grandfather founded Colona, which is only 5 miles from us, and his Great Great Great Grandpa's uncle founded Hotchkiss which is about an hour's drive. They had a lot of kids back then so he must have a lot of (very) distant family around. We were able to find some on facebook and we are thinking about reaching out. I wonder what everyone thinks of this story and it's meaning and what we should do with the information! We have always felt like our decisions and life path since meeting has seemed very fated so this is almost not surprising to us to have something so crazy happen!

You probably are wondering why we moved from Michigan with the largest bodies of freshwater in the world, to the semi-desert of Montrose, Colorado. We simply fell in love with the Mountains and the climate and simultaneously realized how miserable we felt in Michigan. The dry air makes summers and winters very enjoyable to us. No more suffering through 5 months of hellishly dreary winters, or suffering through the cold of fall and spring only to endure more suffering of the stifling humidity of summers or winters where no amount of layering will warm us. The choice to move became a no-brainer once we realized we could not enjoy almost any of our days due to the weather in Michigan, for one reason or another, and that we would enjoy almost every day in Colorado due not only to the amazing weather and sunshine, but also the immense beauty and endless recreational options. An acquaintance basically told us how we were stupid to leave the great lakes, but we would rather die happy than live a life we have to endure.

For Greg, I hope you and your wife are also fully considering which places would make you feel the happiest, regardless of the other things, as what is the point of survival if you are not the happiest that you can be in life?!

Posted : September 27, 2022 2:12 AM
Posts: 162
Estimable Member

That’s a crazy fun discovery.  Maybe ancestral memories are held somewhere in our brains or bodies, rather like migratory animals.  The Monarch Butterfly is a good example.  They’re born in one place and then migrate thousands of miles to a destination they’ve never been to before.

Although not as dramatic, still a bit of a fun story.  I had a connection-to-the-past experience decades ago.  I purchased a house where it turned out my nextdoor neighbor, the lady of the house, was my maternal Aunt’s playmate as a child.  Her husband was closer to my mom’s age and my mother remembered him from school and did remember my neighbor coming over to play with her little sister.

This is more of "it’s a small world" kind of thing because I had moved to a neighborhood not far from where my mother grew up.  But then this happened…

One day my then husband went nextdoor to talk to him.  He didn’t know that they had out of town company but they invited him in for a visit.  The out-of-towners were from the same city in the Pacific NW hubby & I grew up (we had moved to the Midwest several years prior).  Naturally they chatted about what they had in common.  It turned out the guy had been a good friend & bowling buddy of my husband’s dad.  

Small world.

Posted : October 1, 2022 5:40 PM