Tuesday, August 26, 2008


No, I'm not really a genealogy master, I just pretend I am.

If you ever have tried to search for where you came from, you have learned that the search of who you are has enough twists and turns to give Stephen King nightmares. Assembling your tree is a lifelong project. There is no definitive final answer on how it will come out. You will find out things that will just make you want to curl up in a fetal position and take a long nap. You will find a treasure trove of research that someone has taken hours upon hours to do, and realize it is seriously messed up. (How many nine year old kids do you know that have been married twice?)

Jigsaw puzzles are at least finite in the amount of pieces that they contain. Family trees are never-ending struggles to assemble and figure out how they go. Had relatives that were adopted or a parent that remarried and had more kids? You get more trunks and branches in your tree than a rainforest in the Amazon. That's before you find Uncle Leo's six bastard kids, not the cousins that ate all the white meat at Thanksgiving either, but illegitimate kids.

The internet has helped bring family history to the masses as databases, libraries, newspaper archives, and people can now come together and provide an endless supply of data to pick and choose from to find out were your mother's great-great grandfather went to school. The internet has connected people looking to do common research connect. The internet has also presented more questions than can ever be asked.

If the concept of finding your long lost cousin, Imelda Marcos, and how she and her 60,000 shoes are related to your Aunt Minnie with the 16 cats doesn't excite you, then perhaps this blog isn't for you. However, if you are stuck, and we are all stuck on some part of the tree, then this is worth your while to pass over, er, read once in a while. I've been working on my "tree", more like a giant bush, for the last decade on and off. I have enough unanswered questions to fill a few volumes of your favorite magazine and enough money spent in subscriptions that could buy some serious liquor that would drown out the volumes of unanswered questions. This is not a hobby, it's a lifelong inquisition.

Seriously, what you learn while doing the research and assembling the parts, or fining new research that demands you reassemble the parts, is extremely rewarding. You will learn a lot. Not only about yourself, but how we all fit in to the world we live in and where we came from. We all have a unique story waiting to be told. It certainly is not a best seller, unless you are able to decode George Clooney or Madonna's life history, but you will find it engrossing, rewarding, and very entertaining.

I'm not a master, but get better every day. By sharing what I know and use may not make what you do easier, but you will realize that your not alone.

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