Saturday, March 17, 2012

Refreshed and Eager to Walk Among My Ancestors

One of the best aspects of genealogy (and the worst in honesty) is the fact that the bends in the road always lead one to continue trying to peek around the bushes to see what may be on the horizon.

I have stood in awe in a courthouse as I held the original document from 1826 that cemented the marriage of my 3rd great-grandparents, been thrilled when after years to find the German city of birth of another direct ancestor so we can "cross the pond", and never get tired of the increased beat of my heart whenever I see a photograph of anyone I am related to, because looking into their eyes leads somewhere that is far beyond a line on a census page.

I began my genealogy quest at the age of 13 formally, before television shows enlightened us on the hobby. I actually developed my own version of a family group sheet on an old fashioned typewriter before I had ever seen one (still have those early versions) from organizations, doing this because all of my grandparents were deceased and no one could answer any of my questions.

In those years there was little interest among other family members beyond an occasional,  "That's interesting", and I can clearly remember the day when a close family member told me they had no interest at all in any of this "stuff" or the heirlooms and looked forward to when we could get rid of it all. (By the way, that person now collects antiques).

There have been some years when I needed to sit my ancestral quests off to the side (attending college away from home, the early years of my parenting and career building, when my health crisis hit and I actually had to relearn how to read was a big one), but my heart always kept my ancestors nearby. What has helped in recent times is that now I have the assistance of my mother who joins me on all courthouse visits, and is currently learning how to use the computer and databases as well. Additionally, other family members are assisting in various ways and I appreciate their zeal.

My last entry (aside from a brief one at Christmas), was last fall when I discussed my impending plans to travel to Ohio County, Kentucky for a few days at the courthouse for record retrieval. After that I fell off the radar, and I apologize to those who read this blog. I missed being here, and I missed reading your blogs as well.

Sometimes when genealogy has been in your veins since the age of 13 a break is needed, and in my case that came with little warning or planning. My living ancestors needed my attention, and now with refreshed vigor all my ancestors are calling my name.

I am registered for the National Genealogical Conference in Cincinnati in May- my very first national conference, and I am very excited. Research goals await me, and writing for this blog does as well, so I hope you will have me again. It sure feels good to be back.  

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