Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Got Me Started . . .

. . . dancing with the ancestors

Well, I'm not really sure what was the first thing that made me start delving into the past of my family. I used to - in the days of youth and glory - laugh at my friends who were doing ancestor research. I believe irony was the oft used word from those same friends when dancing with the ancestors became my obsession.

Seriously, I was going to do the two week free trial, see what I could find, and that was that . . . done, finished, finito!

Ahhhh, but the seeds of obsession bloomed faster than I could dose them with weed killer. Next thing I knew I was renewing my membership for a second year.

Did you know my many times great Aunt Delilah was probably the original cougar? Yes, indeed! After her first husband died, at age 30 she married . . . and 18 year old. Go, Aunt Delilah. In fact, my cousin said she reserves the right to snag her a younger man, in honor of Aunt Delilah, at some point. Ha!

So, I guess, the thing that got me started was a simple curiosity, and a free trial on Ancestry. From there, well, I just couldn't stop. The further back I dug, the more information I found.

Did you know, my half-great Aunt Euphemia divorced her husband . . . pre 1910? Using FamilySearch, I stumbled across her divorce record. Come to find out . . . she divorced multiple times, in an era when divorces weren't as common as today.

As I've been dancing with my ancestors, not only have I learned a lot about my, well, ancestors, but also the struggles and hardships they've endured, plus found out the places - Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany, Switzerland - they once lived. 

Did you know one of my ancestors spent thirty days in jail . . . for being a Catholic? Neither did I until I stumbled across that information while doing research, and . . . he was proud of it, and there's a plaque to state that fact. Woo-hoo! This same ancestor, from Maryland by the way, and another ancestor, also from Maryland, both had chapels built on their property so the Catholics could worship freely . . . which wasn't allowed in Maryland at the time. Talk about religious persecution . . . the very reason many left Europe in the first place.

And, in a rambling nutshell, that's why I began dancing with the ancestors: curiosity! Yes, I know, it killed the cat, but the only thing it seems to kill for me is . . . free time.

No comments:

Post a Comment