Why oh why would anyone want to research their family history, how boring,,,,,,,,,Welllllllll it just felt natural to me to want to research my family history, to reach back in time to find my family. From the flames that were sparked on those family vacations that were taken long long ago, through college and beyond, I just loved doing research. I even completed one year of my Masters in History. I have the ability or some call it a gift to do what some of my college professor call original research. My problem as you all can see is putting those findings in a well written form, I stink at english comp. That is one of the reasons why I did not complete my Masters. Because my family moved around so much, I went to 3 different grade schools and 3 different High Schools, I really never learned the sentence structure. I always thought it was strange that during my undergraduate years, and many many History papers that contained original thought, not one of those professors corrected my sentence structure or better yet how to put those original thoughts on paper in a clear and concise manner. Most think of History as the study of what major events were occurring at a given time. History can be seen in many different ways, such as those that experienced what was going on 01first hand and document what was going on , those that can research it after the fact and how those events affected society as a whole. For example, lets look at the battle of Gettysburg. The solider that fought at Gettysburg will see it only from his perceptive, where as if one looks at the battle a 100 years after it happened, will see it in a different light. I have always written about history from a social background. How did these big events affect the average person. Looking at someones diary and then tying it in with the big events with my own 20th and 21st century experiences.
Creating that time line for my Ancestor is the first step, then adding the major events of that time and then finding out how it may have affected their choices in life...is this speculation? Yes it is, often we can prove how it affected their life with documentation such as obits, wills, letters home and diaries...But if one is fortunate by having a mom and dad that always loved history and discussing what was going on during their time frame it becomes possible to put yourself in the shoes of your ancestor. I remember my mom talking about living during the great depression, and how she remembers her father talking with her uncles in moving in together to survive the hardships of the time. That is where my mom got her love of family and being their for not only her married family, but her brother and sisters and helping each other during tough times..That is why my grandfather chose to have his semi pro baseball salary be paid to him in the pool hall. My grandfather had his team set him up in a pool hall and barber shop during the depression, so that he could take care of his family, his brother and sister and his mother. So, I should really thank my mom for getting me started in researching my family history cause she would always tell me stories that she heard from her dad. I should thank my dad for asking me to think about what is what like for those brave men and women who chose to leave their family behind for a better life and why did I think they would do this.
It was around 1994 that I bought my first FTM and thought it was going to be a so easy in researching my family history, well it was not so I just wrote down and interviewed all that I could, and then I stopped. But then 911 happened and I got laid off, my mom had just passed away and my Aunt gave me 50 dollars for Christmas. I decided to buy a new version of FTM and I was hooked for life.......... so the next time you are with your children, nieces or nephews and grandchildren..........ask them this one simple question, "just think about all the bones of the pioneers that we are traveling over, why do you think they left their home to travel far far away and how did they travel? See what type of response you will get.......then let me know