This used to be one of those sayings I heard all the time like the “he’s one brick shy of a load.” People would say, “His family tree doesn’t fork.” Well, I’m going to have to give that one up because I just proved that my family tree really doesn’t fork, to a point. I love to research my genealogy. Ancestry.com has made it so fun and so fruitful. I started in the days of no Internet, yes, no Internet. My mother-in-law loved to do genealogical research and she got me hooked. In those days we had to write to the various court houses, request a copy of the document we wanted and send money to cover the cost. Now, you just search the Internet. Ancestry has tons of records online and they add more every day it seems.
But now, I need to stop. I had known that I had a convergence in my family because I knew I had two brothers in one family that I had lines going back to. What I didn’t know until yesterday is that one of the lines is an ancestral line for my mother and the other is an ancestral line for my father. Ooops! Turns out they were actually 8th cousins. Of course, that didn’t make their marriage illegal or anything, but still I didn’t expect it. And in many ways I find it kind of funny, but it does make me pause.
What I have seen in my family is that a lot of these families moved west, if they migrated, with each other. Their children married each other. So, this was bound to happen. It makes me wonder if they ever compared their lineages. Or did they just know them because they had lived in the same communities for a long time. It’s fascinating.
I am fortunate because my family has been in this country for a very long time. Most of my lines go back pre-1600s. And that makes for a lot of fun finding Revolutionary soldiers, people that founded towns, pastors of the first church of whatever. And even people that help found a nation besides the United States. I have ancestors that were pioneer families in Texas and fought in the Texas Revolution against Mexico. All of that is so fun to know and gives me, at least, a deep abiding love for my country.
With just a little information you can get started too. Here’s a link to Ancestry.com. Collect what you know about your family, names, birth dates, places of birth, marriages, places of marriage, places they’ve lived, et cetera. Join Ancestry and plug them in. It is a lot of fun and something to do during the long winter months. One of the things I hope to accomplish are books of our genealogy printed out for each of my grandchildren. Ancestry now provides that service too. What a treasure it will be for them — someday. I can’t even get them overly excited about being descendants of Mayflower passengers as yet. But maybe someday when they have their own children they will want to know and there it will be for them.