Genealogies are Stories in Themselves
I’ve been researching my family for years. I’ve poured through hundreds of birth and death certificates, tax and census records, and even old addresses. Anything to find a clue, a link to the next stage or to fill the pieces in clearer on the person/s in particular I’m looking into at that moment. It’s always exciting to learn their stories. For instance, in the 1800s, my family owned a stagecoach inn here in Ohio that burnt to the ground at the turn of the century.
My family also was quite well off (wish I could say the same for me. lol.). They owned a lot of acreage, giving some away to churches and dowries for their daughters. My great, great grandfather was one of the earliest pioneers in Ohio, coming here from New York. It’s been a struggle to find anything going back further than that or who his parents are, but I’m not giving up. It just takes turning over that piece of puzzle to make it fit.
On my mother’s side, our great, great grandfather comes from PA. We know who his parents are but have little info on them. Sometimes records get lost in fires or misplaced. I do know that we have Cherokee blood in us from my Mom’s side as well. It’s been fascinating learning about these people and their lives. You can see the hardships and triumphs they’ve gone through. This same great, great grandfather, for instance, married a second time to a woman who turned out to be a gold-digger.
It’s been difficult to trace some of my mother’s side as well as there are 16 kids on that side (no, we’re not Amish. Lol.). People lose touch and move on. That doesn’t always mean their life stays invisible to us though. It just takes a little more effort. I’ve been fortunate to find three others who share my passion for looking into our roots. They’ve filled a lot of blanks in for me, and I hope I’ve returned the favor.
Pictures are scarce from days past, but when found they are a true treasure. To see the resemblances, the face of someone who helped shape your future. I’m trying, right now, to link my family pages with as many of them as I can. Oh, and FB, believe it or not, has become a good source of info as well, though you still have to cross-check your facts.
I encourage everyone to look into their past. Open those family Bibles, you’d be surprised at the stories you’ll find. And get people talking—what they have to say may surprise you. Moms, dads, grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, you’ll be fascinated by what they went through and what led to defining who they are. So take a look, have a listen, you may be delighted to find that some ancestor kept a journal, wrote a book, invented something, stood out in battle. Good luck!