24 December 2016


One set of great-grandparents - his first wife died and
he lost custody of those earlier children, but why?  That
mystery started me on my family history journey.
My family’s history and genealogy are a great fascination and hobby for me, but this hasn’t always been the case.  When I was first introduced to my ancestors, it was through charts shown to me by one of my grandmothers:  many names, places and dates, but little else to engage my interest.

It wasn’t until I was exposed to actual accounts of events in the lives of some of those names on the charts that I began to get drawn in.  I learned of mysteries about their actions that were yet to be resolved, details of their lives and the stories of their struggles and triumphs.  This is what finally engaged me – their stories.

I have since realized that I can relate to my ancestors even if I don’t have stories specific to them or their families.  When I know where and when they lived, perhaps their professions, I can look to history to provide me with an insight as to what their lives may have been like, bringing their historical eras and events into closer focus.

In the intervening years since this first realization, I have done more and more research into my own family history.  I’ve made mistakes, I’ve jumped to conclusions (both true and false) and I’ve confused myself with poorly kept / organized records, both physical and digital.  Most important, I’ve also improved and learned to make sense of the date, the stories and the documents. 

This blog will share aspects of this journey of mine, as I passed from rank amateur to well-seasoned amateur genealogist.  I’ll post about techniques that work for me and that I’ve learned through trial and error.  I’ll discuss and relate excerpts from letters and journals I’ve inherited.  I’ll show you photographs and documents that relate to my history, and maybe yours.  But mostly I’ll tell stories – stories that engaged and entertained me, stories that educated me and stories that made me a more meticulous and detailed family history researcher.

My hope is that you’ll find some of the stories amusing and interesting, but most of all instructional.  If you can learn from my mistakes and benefit from my experiences, perhaps I can help you along the path of discovering your own family’s stories with fewer bumps in the road than I have experienced.

Thank you for taking an interest in my journey – I hope I can help you along in yours and I look forward to hearing from you!

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