17 April 2011

Fledgling Genealogist

My interest in genealogy started when I was a kid. I would ask my mom to show me my second great-grandfather's bible. Together, we would look through the huge leather book-she would point out the beautiful illustrations and the family record. Births, marriages, and deaths, mostly for people I never knew. I would look at my birth entry, written by my mom, and marvel at the fact that I was related to all those other people somehow. She would carefully take out my great-grandparents' marriage certificate, crumbling apart even back then, and show me the thick paper and colorful illustrations around the names. I would watch her expression change when she would come across my cousin's obituary and she would tell me that she could never bring herself to write his death in the bible. As a kid, I did not understand her reasoning, but I could see how upset the sight of the newspaper clipping made her, so I never asked.

About two years ago, my mom passed away after a short battle with brain cancer, three days after her 58th birthday. A few days after her funeral, I pulled out the family bible to add her funeral card with my cousin's obituary. Only this time, I added my cousin's entry, as well as my mom's. But I also added my nephew's birth record, which never got added four years prior. My dad took notice as I transcribed all the records to a sheet of paper that I could take back home on the plane with me. I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I wanted to know more about these people.

A short time later, my father gave me the bible and I have become known as the family record keeper. I now have a room in my house devoted to books, photographs, files, and other memorabilia. I am finally learning who my mysterious ancestors are, and have fallen head-first into genealogy in the process. The flood of emotions I saw in my mom all the times we looked through the family bible together are starting to make sense to me now, as I experience those same feelings every time I work on my genealogy research.

4 comments:

  1. Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"
    http://www.examiner.com/x-53135-Springfield-Genealogy-Examiner
    http://www.examiner.com/x-58285-Ozarks-Cultural-Heritage-Examiner

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  2. Thank you, Dr. Bill! Glad to know there is someone out there reading. I am happy to be a part of the Geneabloggers community!

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  3. Erin, Just had the opportunity to glance through all of your posts. Love them and they touched my heart and my brain. I don't know how much Polish I have in my research but will enjoy following your blog.
    Always, Deb

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  4. Thanks for checking out my blog, Deb! I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

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