Wednesday, 1 January 2014

So here we are...

Oh look, another genealogy blog on the internet.  Yay ?!?    I know, I know.  But here I am, blogging about the subject that seems to have taken the world by storm lately - genealogy.  Or am I ?  

Let's see...
ge ne al o gy 
npl. ge·ne·al·o·gies
  1. A record or table of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or ancestors; a family tree.
  2. Direct descent from an ancestor; lineage or pedigree.
  3. The study or investigation of ancestry and family histories.
Well, if you take a look at the F.A.Q. I've written (over on the left there...), you'll see I'm not particularly interested in the "direct descent from an ancestor; lineage or pedigree."   And while I can produce alot of tables and records, the majority of my documentation and files aren't the clinical birth-death-marriage records required by the rules or "laws of genealogy." Oh sure, I have all of that data wherever possible. But I add to it that little bit of extra - the spice of life.

No, in the world of family trees, mine is not a lombardy poplar (tall, straight, narrow), it's more of a gigantic old maple tree (wild, branchy, reaching for the sky, with very deep roots)   It is full of stories and photos, newspaper clippings, postcards, book notations, family folk lore, and truths.    It can be staid and boring in spots, but usually it is fascinating, fun, and inspiring.    My family tree isn't unique, special, or outstanding.  The truth is, all of our families have the same types of people, the same types of stories, the same folklore, and the same intrigue.  Some of us just don't know where to look for it.

Over the past couple of years I've been slowly building a library of short write-ups about various family members, typically in celebration of their birthday or anniversary, and I post them for my family to see on Facebook, or occasionally email them.   My friends often comment that they wished their family was that interesting, and family members will ask where I'd discovered all these little bits of information - things they'd never heard of.   Surely I'm just creative, and I make some of this stuff up ?No.  I can honestly say that I haven't had to make any stories up, or invent things out of thin air.  Everything I've written has been based on the facts and information I've found in my searches either in my boxes of collected paper and photos, or mostly on the internet.

My family isn't any different than most.  I have boxes (and boxes and boxes) of un-identified photos, old letters, post cards, and newspaper clippings.   There are basements full of old slides, film reels, school photos, and newsletters.    Most of it has sat for years, unorganized, and undocumented.   But then one day, after lugging boxes of unorganized papers back from my Grandma's house, the bug bit me, and for the past few years I've spent most of my free time organizing and documenting, and scanning everything I could get my hands on for all of my families.   And, most importantly - I've been sharing whatever I could with whomever was interested.  That, my dear readers, is the key.

This blog is part of that sharing.  It won't be focused on my families - although as I mentioned to my mother the other day, I'm fairly certain I could write a trilogy of thick books on each one of them from the looks of my study shelves.    What I'd like to focus this blog on is the WHERE.  Where did I find those little tidbits that can flesh out a person's life enough to make them just that much more interesting. How can I help others to find that same little bit to add to their own family story.

As I always say - every life holds a story just waiting to be told.  Let's go find yours. 

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