Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why Do I Do Genealogy?

Why do I do genealogy, or, in my little world . . . why do I love dancing with the ancestors? Sorry, always have to insert the title of the blog into the post. Ha!

I love a good mystery, and what better mystery is there out there than genealogy? Who knew my many-times great grandpa was the marrying kind of man . . . five times, plus a sixth, so far undocumented, time, while he was still married to his adulterous fifth wife. And, also allegedly, she was the inspiration for Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. No, she's not a direct ancestor . . . just married to one.

So, I do genealogy, or dance with the ancestors, to discover the pieces of the past that put the puzzle together that is, well, me.

I'm fascinated that the paternal and maternal sides of my mothers family both ended up in Nelson County, Kentucky.

The maternal side migrated from Maryland to Central Kentucky because, at least for at time, in Maryland, being Catholic was not allowed. A good portion of the ancestors on my mother's maternal side were part of the League of Catholic Families that began a migration from Maryland to Kentucky in the late 1700s. In fact, one of my ancestors spent thirty days in jail because he was Catholic. Go, Religious Persecution! That's sarcasm in case any one missed it!

The paternal side migrated from the New England - MA, NH, ME - part of the country. So far, I haven't figured out the why of that migration. Whatever the cause, the Sweat (mother's paternal) and Boone (mother's maternal) lines ended up in Central Kentucky, where a huge portion of them still reside, married, and, well, you have me. Ha!

So, that's why I'm dancing with the ancestors . . . to solve a good mystery, to find out the where/why I came from, and to learn whatever I can about the past. Every time I begin dancing with the ancestors, I seem to stumble across something new that makes me go . . . wow!

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