Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Family Tree

July 7, 2013

One of the things I wanted to do when I retired from gainful employment, but not from life, was research my family tree. That got a jump start about eighteen months ago thanks to a blunder made by my mother that led to the discovery of a previously unknown cousin. This cousin, being of a generous nature, handed over my maternal grandmother's genealogy. Every new reveal is great fun, well, except for learning someone died from snakebite, etc. Times were hard in the 1800s.

Along with the discoveries comes a different sort of eye-opener, that being the reason behind my lack of knowledge. Apparently very few in my family really cared where we came from. Heck, I'm not even sure they cared where we're going. It's a bit unsettling. Anyway, they didn't feel it necessary to impart some interesting information to myself or my cousins - like how many people we're distantly related to on this mountain and how. It's a bit scary-fascinating.

Thankfully there are places like Ancestry, Rootweb, Find a Grave and others. I really like Find a Grave because it's FREE and there are volunteers all over the USA finding grave sites and photographing monuments and stones to preserve the information before time and weather erode it.

If you're one of the lucky few who have had family members go before you and publish books on part of your family tree, get the books. You may not care but your children may thank you.

Remember - they won't learn this stuff through osmosis, so help them out. They might just thank you one day. 



Shelly said...

My dad loves researching our family tree.

Hugs and chocolate,

KC Kendricks said...

I should add to label all those family photos. I have a box of black and white pictures and no clue as to who the people in the photo are. My grandmother knew - they were her pictures - and now my mother can't remember that well so it's all lost. And I think that's sad for any family.