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.
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 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.
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.