I have a co-worker who does genealogy as a hobby. She’s been looking for her ancestors and all the branches for over twenty years now, a feat that no doubt takes a lot of dedication. She’s been wanting me to go up the genealogy/local history room with her one Saturday afternoon just to get a taste for what it is. Last week, I finally told her I’d go up and meet with her this past Saturday just to have something to do. Having been stuck in the house all day Friday, going up there was definitely a welcome retreat from the house.
I started with my grandpa on my dad’s side of the family since I knew the most information about him and soon discovered branches that extended farther back than I ever could’ve imagined. The earliest ancestor I found with all his information in the system was my fifth great grandfather who was born in the 1790’s in New York before moving to Ohio when/after he got married. It made me wonder why he wanted to move from New York to the middle of nowhere, Ohio considering what New York is what it is today. I’m sure there wasn’t that much to New York back in the 1790’s/early 1800’s either, but it was definitely starting to gain its footing. I’d like to learn more about those relatives and maybe even find this New York relative’s family.
I also have some Native American ancestry on my dad’s side of the family and I would sure love to learn more about it. Back in the time of my great-grandfather and his parents, talking about mixed families was a definite no no, one that would probably incite beatings and being ostracized. But now that we live in a culture where such things are widely talked about and accepted, I want to know more about them. My grandma didn’t give much information about her dad and grandparents, and even told my aunt to tell me not to go any further than a couple generations back. While I can understand her hesitation (she came from a society that didn’t accept those sorts of things), her prohibiting me to not go too far back into the family tree has only made me want to go further back. Even my mom said something similar saying, “Well, that only makes you want to dig even deeper, doesn’t it?”
I don’t know when I’ll go back up to the local history/genealogy room at the library again, but I certainly cannot wait to find out what else I can dig up about my family. Maybe I’ll even dig around on my mom’s side of the family and see who was all up there.
So, that’s my story into my first foray of genealogy and tracing my own ancestors. Maybe I’ll tell some more stories about what I found on Saturday and even stories that I’ll discover in the future.
Has anyone else gotten into the hobby of tracing their roots?