I have vivid memories of my mother working at our kitchen table with papers here and there, envelopes, stamps, pens, and a long rectangular-shaped Book of Remembrance with printed forms. I remember asking my mother what she was doing and her reply was that she was writing letters to family members so she could get genealogy information.
Genealogy? I wanted to learn more about that! Throughout my childhood, my mother would share her own family genealogical journeys with me including the disappointments when no replies came to her inquiries as well as the jubilant discovery of finding a distant cousin who had new and important data.
By the time I was in my teens, I had the genealogy bug and began poking around in my father’s ancestral lines. I followed the prescribed method of research by first interviewing my living relatives.
I began by visiting with my paternal grandmother and going through her old photos. Each photo had a story and I tried to make brief notations on the back of each as my grandmother recounted memories of her past. The hours slipped away quickly as I asked questions and my dear grandmother and I knew that I had begun the venture of a lifetime.
Spending time with my grandmother was enlightening, so I decided to visit my paternal grandfather. Then I visited with my great aunt. With each visit, I gained new insights along with the names of additional individuals to visit. Hearing first-hand accounts of events and stories gave an additional dimension to the names and dates printed on my pages. Each new bit of information opened the potential for more details to search.
All these many years later, I am still thrilled when I uncover bits and pieces of family history. My quest for family history information subsides periodically when other things become a priority (getting married, having babies, going to college, etc.) but despite life’s disruptions, I eventually come back to my genealogy hobby.
The days of writing letters in long-hand from the kitchen table are gone. Research and requests for information are at our fingertips online. I began my genealogical pursuits with very little information. Now, I am inundated with data and I have to decipher what is correct and what isn’t. My primary purpose for this blog is to share the information I have, but I also hope it can be used for collaboration as together we explore our kindredology.