It's amusing to see the common personality traits you've inherited from your family. For me, passed along down the Speck/Finlayson lines were a love of art + creativity, a deep reverence for nature, fierce independence (aka stubborness) and, more recently in our family history, an undying allegiance to classic rock music. There might also be some fiery tempers in there, just sayin'. Our clan also agrees that keeping a good garden, whether for flowers or food, is paramount.
I recently discovered that my dad's descendants immigrated to Canada from England in the 1880s and founded a farm in Utterson, Ontario. John and Sarah Jane Speck (nee Prebble) had at least eight children, from what I can decipher from old census records, each of whom would have been vital to the daily operations of the farm. I have no idea what happened to the property, but I've had romantic notions of finding it, somehow claiming it back (ha ha) and starting up a herb/native grain farm and living as my ancestors did...without the whole Church of England thing.
My mom's family of Poles and Scots veered towards annual + perennial flower gardening. Tall stands of hollyhocks made an appearance in several old photographs of my great-grandfather's garden in Toronto during the 1930s. Mom also recently uncovered this old bridge score book that belonged to her step-father's parents. It lists their entire planting schedule for the summer of 1934, with sow dates and seed counts to boot (are they for real? 20,000 cabbage seeds?). I feel like I've uncovered a time-capsule of plant-y knowledge.
Here's what they grew:
Veggies: cabbage, cauliflower, beets, celery
Flowers: salvia, snapdragons, verbena, ageratum, lobelia, petunias, zinnias, asters, salpiglossis, alyssum, clarkia, nicotiana