My Ancestors’ and Their Stories
Those of you who have followed me on my Facebook Groups and Esther’s Roots and Ramblings Blog know I love genealogical research and family history. It is a thrill when I find a long lost ancestor, uncover a family secret, prove a family story, find siblings of family members, find marriage records, birth information, death dates, and occasionally place of burial. Through research and evidence, I work very hard to prove each person belongs in my family tree before they are placed in my family tree program. Researching my familial lineages is fun and a way to get to know and understand my personal heritage. What practices or traditions were passed down through the generations? What characteristics were passed down from my ancestors? What were their cultural backgrounds? What were their occupations? What possibly was the cause of their deaths? The cause of death is information for medical history. These are all questions that I work to answer as I research my matrilineal and patrilineal lineages.
Genealogical research and family history is so much more than birth and death dates of an ancestor. It is very interesting to follow the migration paths of my ancestors. I like to know their occupations and were they land owners. I work to determine the reasons for them leaving certain areas and settling in another area. Census records can give you a story of an ancestor and his family. I can use the sources for an ancestor and write a story from it. If you are fortunate to have photos write stories using the photos and the information you have on them. You may have letters and newspaper articles about an ancestor use that to write a stories of your ancestors.
In researching my ancestors, I have come across a murderer, deputy sheriff, blacksmith, farmer, housewife (stay at home mom), tailor, three immigrants to the colonies, slave owner, and one who spent time in a mental institution. Every one of these ancestors are important to my family’s history. Their lives had a story, and their stories needs to be told. Documenting their lives and their stories is what I am doing on a daily basis. If I don’t write about their lives who will?
Family is very important to me, and the ancestors that I am researching had an influence on someone’s life. Then, that eventually was passed down to me, and I in turn passed to my children. Therefore, it honors my ancestors by researching them and writing about them. I have found some very interesting facts about my ancestors and related family members. I am writing to tell their stories. ■