Saturday, November 12, 2005

Family Tree

A few years ago, I had a Family tree program loaded into my computer by a good friend. It will sort all your family and put them in the proper order, organize the family links, create charts and allow for special notes. You name it seems to have it all, a neat program.

Of course, I got busy and started typing in a few names and quickly realized I never knew much about the family. Both my parents had passed away and I never paid near enough attention to some of the stories they past on. I was going to leave this world one day and my kids wouldn’t know much about their roots.

From my parent’s death certificates, I had a little information to start with. My father was born in England and my mother from Virginia. I have kept in close contact with my Virginian relatives over the years, they are my life line, but I have no close relatives on my father’s side. This was going to be a difficult journey, to get information one needs to do some amount of detective work.

Some one said you can get all kinds of information by surfing the web. I soon found out there were hundreds out there with my same name; my searches were fruitless. I called upon my cousins in Virginia and they came through with flying colors and gave me a long list of family members and even birthdays and deaths. I paid a visit and got into City Hall records and found some more. I now had birth certificates, marriage dates, deaths and even some news paper clippings. Newspapers are a great source, most are archived and on micro film.

I was building a wonderful back ground on my mother’s side, but nothing on my father’s side. I knew he came to this country at the young age of 4 months or was it 4 years?
I knew my grandparents full name from a wedding clipping from a local paper archive.
I was at a stand still. Along comes a stranger, who really wasn’t a stranger but a friend whom I had met on a gardening forum. She lived in England and was heavily into genealogy. Before I knew it she had sent me birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, census records and maps of the areas that my grandparents and great grand parents lived. All original copies of such. She had done an amazing detective job and refused to accept any reimbursement. She is still actively trying to move the history back even farther.

As I said in an earlier Blog, there are some mighty fine people out there. There are some lowlife's also. I have been fortunate to have only made friends with the cream of the crop.
All my friends are the best.

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