Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Kinda crazy, but beautiful...

Like everyone else on the planet, I have a weird family.  Although, I can assure you, mine is on the weirder side of weird.  Anyway, I recently acquired a family artifact that blew my mind just a bit.  It was a diary from 1901 written by a very great grandfather living in San Fransisco.  The diary covered a little less than a year but was incredibly interesting and brought to light many family facts that I was previously unaware of.

A more normal family

All these years there were certain things I held as facts that were not facts at all.  It turns out my family has been in  America for two generations longer than I had always thought, with another very great grandfather fighting in the civil war.  I had no idea.  And shockingly, on the Union side! A yankee, nooo!!!  

The older the tree, the spookier it might be

I forgive the yankee soldier as he hadn't been in America more than a decade when the fighting started and lived in DC after surviving a nasty battle.  A gentleman as far as I could tell.  His son being a well respected cavalry officer and gentleman indeed.  

A California family in a field of poppies

I spent a couple of days obsessing a bit about family info.  Ancestry.com gives you a free trial period in which you can access census records and military records etc.  Trying to find out anything prior to 1920 gets a little dicey except for military records.  The civil war records are amazingly well preserved and easy to access.  Newspaper articles are really annoying to research prior to 1960.  But I did find some interesting family mentions in the early 60s that I would have thought someone would have mentioned along the way.  But like I said, families are coo coo and mine more so than most.  I am glad to have these facts.  I feel a kind of connection with some of the old timers that I do not feel with my actual parents.  It's odd to think about where one sits in one's family tree...

Some family trees ore very good providers

Families are rife with competition and feuds, slander and trickery, old wounds and enemies...
But in the end it's true: blood is thicker than water.  Sometimes you have to go way up stream to find the blood that matches your type but when you find that old familiar something in a photo or piece of writing or tale of someones achievements, it can be the one missing puzzle piece you knew was there somewhere.  The missing piece that once it's put in place makes you feel good.  

A baby tree

I know there are tons of people who have lost most all trace of their family through war and relocating and various disasters that happen but those people have to know that the new tree that they are planting with their  photo albums and scrapbooks will be very valuable somewhere down the line to someone.  When you think of passing along some of your strength or courage to someone you will never know it gives you a sense of pride and purpose.  Looking up your ancestry is not just information gathering and fact finding.  It's very emotional and you just may find something in the fabric of your heritage that patches a hole that was letting a cold wind come through.  You might feel a lot warmer afterwards.

No comments:

Post a Comment