Saturday, April 3, 2010

Who Cares?

It has occurred to me that many people don't care about family history. My own grandmother, upon being asked questions about our ancestors has told me that if I didn't know them myself, and if they aren't alive now, I shouldn't worry about digging too much up. It just doesn't matter...

How are we to know who we are, where we are going, unless we know where we come from? I myself love digging into the past and finding out little snippets about my ancestors, or anyone for that matter.

My real journey in genealogy began in December of 2008 with the death of my husband's grandfather. I was interested before then, but I didn't have any money, and no leads, so I really didn't do much with it, because I didn't think I could. When our dear Grandpa Old passed away, we started going through his house, dividing up his belongings among the children and grandchildren. I was completely blown away at what people just were going to throw away. By the time we had gotten there, for the funeral, they had already gone through his desk and file cabinet, and thrown almost everything away! All that was saved was a small file folder labeled "Genealogy". I saw that laying there and I began to beg for them to let me have it! Of course, since none of the others wanted any of it, they let me. I asked if I could have the pictures as well, as there was a suitcase full of old, old, OLD pictures, and they said that they would be taken home by one of the children and then divided up after that. Over the next few months, we made several other trips to the house, to bring home things that others would have thrown away, including Grandma & Grandpa's college diplomas (which are now proudly hanging in my office).

Since then, I have bought Family Tree Maker, traveled to countless cemeteries, begun working with and as a volunteer for both, done countless hours of work in libraries and in front of a computer, and I still have not come very far. But, I know my ancestors, and my husband's ancestors on a greater level than I did before... so have I found success? I'll let you ask yourself that... Is success found in finding the most number of ancestors? or in getting to know the ones that you already have found?

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