11 August 2014

Who do you resemble? Are you a doppleganger for someone in your family or has the visual connection remained elusive?

Who do you resemble in your family tree?  Anyone, no one, sometimes one person and then seemingly at other times another person?

I have often been told that I look somewhat like my dad while my sisters look more like my mom. I never thought of my husband as resembling his father until a picture taken many years ago, in quasi-profile, of my husband, his father, and his paternal grandmother was taken. You couldn’t miss the resemblance, yet, when you talk with them, it just didn’t jump out at you.  At times in his life, my son has resembled my sister and my brother-in-law! Two different sides of his family tree.  As my nephew grows older, where he once strongly resembled his father, he more and more resembles my sister, his mother. My aunt as a young woman looked like my grandmother (her mother) when she was a young woman, though, when older, neither looked like the other?

Resemblance is the basis of our perception of race and ethnicity.  It is also a favourite topic of conversation at family gatherings – proclaimed where it is strikingly apparent, or perhaps whispered where it is lacking.  Families generally like it when their male biological offspring look like their fathers and females look like their mothers, perhaps with the odd feature thrown in to mark the other half’s creative stamp (“He’s the spitting image of you, but he’s got my eyes”).  Some may start life looking like one parent, then ‘morph’ into the other as they get older.  Certain facial features may perpetuate for generations, or, fascinatingly, even skip generations.  What family historian hasn’t felt a thrill when they unearth an old photograph of a long forgotten ancestor with a distinct family resemblance?  DNA never forgets.

Do look at all the examples.  What do you think of the seemingly unrelated doppelgangers at the end?

Are there strong "family" resemblances in your family?  Have who people resembled morphed through time in your family tree?

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