This year I signed up through Amy Johnson Crow’s website to do a year-long challenge of exploring my ancestors. Though the first month has passed and I have yet to delve into the project, I thought it would be a great way for me to flesh out my heritage besides just placing names on an ever-expanding diagram.
So here goes my stab at #52ancestors
Week #1: Start
My first dabble into genealogy began when I was in sixth grade and it was an assignment for my Social Studies class. The goal of the project was to either go back to another state or to another country. For me, like many, it was an easy task: my paternal grandparents were born and raised in Pennsylvania and my maternal great grandparents came from England. I researched family crests, wrote down a family tree to my great grandparents on all sides of the family and I was done. Easy peasy.
Until I got my second computer in college, a Packard Bell and it could do this wondrous thing: connect to the internet.
I began researching my family tree once again, contacting relatives through the mail this time, my curiosity strong but college preoccupied my time, along with my part time job and the search was set aside.
I now wish I hadn’t. At this time I still had 2 thriving grandmothers who could have answered many of the questions I have now.
As a history buff (it’s probably why it’s one of the my degrees) finding information about my ancestors has been thrilling. I’ve learned all kinds of thing in the 18 months I’ve been doing my search, and though I work full time and have kids, I have days where I am able to focus and make some new discoveries.
I have also learned a very important lesson: just because I find information fascinating does not mean everyone does. My mother really is not into my learning about her heritage. I’ve learned to not say anything and am trying to focus more on my dad’s side of the family instead.
Week #2: Favorite Photo
I’ll confess, I haven’t addressed photos yet having focused more on finding out if I have any Revolutionary War ancestors (I won’t give details now, it could be another prompt later in the year). My mom did share one with me when I began this journey and it still amazes me to this day.
Above is a picture of my Grandma, she is the one on the left holding the dog. Why is this photo so amazing? Because my Grandma is dressed like a girl! I’m sure this sounds odd but once my Grandma discovered polyester pants and button down tops, she never looked back. We have one picture of her in a dress, and I forget why she was dressed that way (perhaps her mom’s funeral, which happened in the summer of 1987).
It’s also just interesting to see my Grandma when she was young. About a year ago I met up with my dad’s cousin (my second cousin) and when I sat down to speak with her I was blown away when she spoke of my Grandma, stating she was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. Even now it makes me smile.
The woman to the right is my Great Aunt Vada. It’s her daughter who has helped to guide me quite a bit in my family history research. Vada was actually my Grandmother’s sister-in-law (my grandfather’s sister), but they were best friends, more like sisters I hear from various sources.
Looking at the date on this picture of August 1937 – my Grandma was still a newlywed, having married my Grandfather in April of that year. I guess I need to do some more researching and discover who the other 2 individuals are in the photo. I’m going to assume that this was taken in Indiana as well, because I know that is where my grandparents got married, and that’s where Aunt Vada was living at the time, too. (As a side note, my father was born in Indiana in 1943).
What a fun challenge this is going to be, it’s most likely not too late to start! Click here to sign up!