Genealogy 101

I’ve mentioned before that I became interested in discovering my paternal grandfather’s genealogy a couple of years before his death. And much to my delight, was able to trace back seven generations and share this information with him while he was still living.

Great Grandmother Thelma (left) and her daughter Dolores (right). Both as teenagers.


I found doing the research fascinating. I’m sure most people would find scrolling through endless ship logs on a computer beyond boring. Research has always been exciting to me. (I also really appreciate enjoy organizing and cleaning though, so that explains a bit about myself).

But after many dead ends, and then working on the house, moving to an apartment, getting pregnant and losing the pregnancy; I lost site of all the things that gave me little thrills.

Continuing the descents of above, my mother Doreen (left) and myself. Both as teenagers again.

I feel as though I’ve been in some sort of remedial recovery class. As my mental health has improved, I am re-learning about all the things I’ve always loved and enjoyed.

Genealogy has been one of the last items from my past to come back into being a “joyful” experience. At times I’ve wondered, what’s the point is researching family history if you are the last link in the chain? 

But then there are all those other people. Marilyn from Alaska…and Richard from Connecticut….and Mary from Rhode Island…all distant cousins I’ll never meet whose search into their own family histories has added another link into my chain. Perhaps I’ll create a link for someone else? Some distant cousin discovering their fifth cousin in Iowa has the ship records for their immigrating ancestor from Scotland.

The women from all the photos above in the proper age perspectives. (Left to right) Dolores, Doreen, Thelma, myself. (Early 2000s).

So why blog about it on the homestead site?

So that there’s a place where my relatives can read about their ancestors in a much more story-telling sort of way. (Those who research genealogy have a very “grad school thesis” approach to recording family histories. Scholarly is great for accurate information, not always so easy to follow).

And…because it gives me a little thrill to know about these people. These people who’s decisions, no matter how big or small, eventually lead to my exsistence.

It’s nice to feel little thrills again. 

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