My Great Great Great Great Grandmother's Grave and Shakespeare's Ghost

Anna Ortega
July 10, 2017

This weekend was the first time I had traveled outside of Ireland. I went to England to visit a good friend of mine, Elliott, who lives an hour or so outside of Birmingham. Traveling makes me nervous to begin with, but traveling alone is even worse, for most of my flight I was wreck of emotions, both excitement and nerves. When I landed, we had one of those movie airport moments where we run and hug, which was very cute and romantic.

Elliott lives in a small town called Shipston on Stour. To be honest, it looked exactly how I expected a small British town to look, it was all very quaint. Shipston on Stour is a 15 or 20 minute bus ride away from Stratford upon Avon. On Saturday we went there because SHAKESEAR! It was very touristy, but still a very cute town. We went to a butterfly garden and saw iguanas, baby quails, and obviously butterflies. We wanted to go see Shakespeare’s grave, but there was a wedding in the church. The weather was perfect, and many people we taking boat rides along the river or picnicking on lawns. After lunch we went around to a haunted book store and tried to find any ghosts, which we did but that is another story.

A few months ago my family did one of those Ancestry DNA tests to see where in the world we are from. Although much of my family history is already known, my father is indigenous Mexican and we have known that, my parents wanted to find out more exactly. After weeks of waiting my mom go her results back, and we traced her family back to two small towns in England—Fenny Compton and Ratley. When I had found this out I asked Elliott if he had heard of either of these two towns, and coincidently, he lived within a 20 minutes’ drive of each of them.

On Sunday, we drove to Ratley to visit my great great great great grandmother’s grave. It was really exciting to see the place where my relatives would have lived. It was especially amazing to see my great great great great grandmother’s grave and that it was still there.  One of my favorite parts of studying abroad has been having the ability to connect family histories with place. I have had the opportunity to do this in Mexico, but because of the distance, this has been harder for me to do with my European roots.

I arrived at the airport two hours early only to have my flight delayed. Every time I leave Dublin I miss it and can’t wait to come back. I was impatient in Birmingham ready to get back. I don’t know how I am going to feel when I leave in two weeks.  

Anna Ortega

<p>Hi! My name Anna! I study history and folklore at Indiana University. I&#39;m a young chicana who loves hot Cheetos. My favorite holiday is Halloween because I&#39;ve always been a spooky kid at heart!</p>

2017 Summer 1, 2017 Summer 2
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