Finding my history

I can’t recall having a hobby in recent years… unless binge-watching TV, mindlessly scrolling in my phone or painting my nails counts.

But after one of my cousins on my dad’s side discovered that we had a cousin that was about 30 years older than us, I pulled out my credit card and got a Ancestry subscription.

I had a pretty decent idea about my mom’s side of my family.

However, for my dad’s side? I knew my immediate family, my two aunts and uncle, and three cousins. I knew of his half brother and sister, and met them once when I was little.

Other than that… that was the extent of what I knew. They didn’t have a great childhood, so it just wasn’t something any of them really talked about.

I knew my dad’s dad (yes, my grandfather…) died when he was in his early 50s when my dad was only two-years-old. And then his mom died when he was a teenager.

Given that I’d never met either of them, just really their names, I don’t associate them as being my grandparents.

My dad’s dad, Marion, and his first wife (not my grandmother), Mary

For a long time I’ve been curious to know more about the other side of my family, but never did anything.

So once I got my Ancestry subscription, it’s been an eye opening experience.

My family from the 1700s-1800s

My initial approach was accepting as many hints for any side of the family. But over time, I realized I was over-adding potential “hints,” and decided to just start working on my dad’s side first – following my maiden name.

I’ve found interesting women, unique history about how they came to America but also parts of history I probably wouldn’t want to find out but happened – owning slaves.

My great aunt, Ilar

I hope to continue finding more good things about my past than bad, but I think it’s important to know your past and ensure the generations after you don’t make the same mistakes and grow.

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