Monday, February 25, 2013

Genealogy Research

One thing I love doing is genealogy.  It all started many years ago.  I wish I would have known how important it was to ask family members certain questions about where they came from and details of their lives.  Even my mother didn't really understand why I wanted to know these details.   My dad knows nothing of his family history.  They must have been so busy working and surviving that where they came from wasn't important.  Fortunately when my great grandmother on my Dad's side passed away, we found all of her important papers like birth records, marriage record and immigration papers.  That helped a lot. 

Great grandma's House

One of my first challenges was with my husbands family.  His dad changed his last name when he was 18 years old to his step fathers last name.  All we knew was the last name of my husbands grandfather but we didn't even know his first name.  We had some bits and pieces but we didn't have the whole picture.  Well, we did have a photo but no name.  I started my search in Indiana because that is where my father in law graduated from high school.  This was before you could get so many records over the internet.  I remember the day I located the marriage license.  I called the Register of Deeds office and there it was, the information we needed.  From the first and last names we were able to track both sides of the family.  I had a woman who volunteered to go to a cemetery in Evansville, Indiana and take photos of all the headstones related to the family.   We found the grandfather had died at a very young age from an accident.  He had been in a hospital for almost a year before he died and was buried in a cemetery in Texas in an unmarked grave.  The grandmother remarried and that solved the mystery of the name.  We also found out that the grandfather had been married before and my father in law had a half brother that no one had any knowledge of.  I won't bore you with anymore details, but it is very interesting to follow our ancestors through history.  You get a better understanding of where you came from and why you have certain traits.  I hope my husband and our children didn't inherit any from the following.  I know that this is a charcoal drawing but these people look pretty scary.

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