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Can you just feel the love, when that is how you are described by your Better Half, to her Mother? Well, that is how I was described not too long ago. But honestly, it was all her Mother's fault. Honest!
Because of scheduling conflicts, my Better Half's family aren't able to get together until after Christmas. And as one of my Christmas gifts, her mother gave me a genealogy listing of my side of the family. A long time ago, my step-mother had at one time done a genealogy chart, some time back in the late '70's, early '80's. Where the chart is nowadays, I have no idea.
Little did my Better Half's mother realize the firestorm that would be created by her one little spark. Within three weeks, I had completely burnt myself out, by the sheer amount of research that I had done in that short time span. For that time, my eyes were glued to the computer screen at almost every available moment, fingers flying across the keyboard, with the clickety-clacking of keys, a pause to write down notes, and the resumption of clickety-clacks. I was half expecting the keyboard to raise a little white flag, and squeak, “I give”.
In the beginning, I started out with the names of 22 ancestors. Within that three week time span until meltdown, I had added another 140 names. Births, deaths, marriages, professions. Farmers, teachers, clerks, a locomotive engineer, participants in both the Civil, and Revolutionary wars, and others. And even a shotgun wedding. LOL The date that the couple was married, and the date that their first child was born, was just a little too close. The more information that I found, the more information that I wanted to find. My research was taking on a life of its own. It was becoming all consuming, and that's just not healthy. I finally had to step back, put everything down, and walk away.
There are still many gaps in my ancestral history, as I have it charted now. In the not too near future, I'm sure that I'll pick up my charts one day, the fire will be re-lit, and I'll be off and running, until I burn out again.
All of my initial research was done with the information that my Better Half's mother had given me, and hours spent online. Much of my time was spent at www.familysearch.org This website is a great start for finding out about your ancestors. However, the information provided is only as good as the source of the information, and the person who submitted it to the website. Cross-referencing submissions took some time at first, but once I started to become familiar with names, and dates, I was able to cross-reference quite quickly.
I've done about as much as I can online for now. This spring, it will be time to visit the historical societies of the towns where my ancestors were known to reside, in order to learn more about them. I can only imagine what kind of trouble I can get myself into, as I try to delve deeper into my family's history.
With all of the snow that we have had in my area this year (109 inches so far), working on this project was a great way to keep cabin fever at bay.
So the next time that you want to learn more about your ancestors, or just have a morbid curiousity as to what kind of skeletons are hanging in your family's closet, click your way over to www.familysearch.org, and let the fun begin.
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