When your Mother told you to always "Eat yer Veggies!" I'll bet you never had a thought about the joy of digging around for roots, did you? ;-D
Over the years I've done a bit of research into my family history, and plan to share stories about that research, and future efforts.
My lineage, thru my Father, comes from a small town in the Republic of Macedonia, a former part of the nation of Yugoslavia, and a region heavily influenced by associations with Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire.
As complicated as that may sound it, so far, appears less confusing than my red-blooded American Roots. ;-D
The Lineage of my Mother goes thru Kentucky (Daugherty/Dougherty, Fraze/Frays, Tanner), and Indiana (Hesson, Wells), for sure, and possibly back to Pennsylvania (Wells) in the 1700's.
Or there could be a lineage back thru 700 years of British history (Skelton), including one dude who was briefly hitched to Ann Boleyn.
And therein lies the rub: One much married woman (Mary Hesson) has stalled my research at 1900 as I try to sort out the paternity of her only son, a Maternal Grandfather (William Wells or Skelton?).
I once wrote a little ditty that is not quite appropriate for this situation, but gives you a general idea of the fun one can have sorting out family history.
Hello, My name's McLemire
There's some confusion of which I tire
I'm your Uncle and your Cousin
And I've got offspring by the dozen
When I began my research, in the 1980's, it was done out of a great curiosity about the journey of my Father.
It was almost too late.
He was a mental patient, and died in 1988.
Although I had a few stories from him and my Mom, a few letters in his native language, and a ton of photos with unidentified (I can't read the language!) people in them going back to the 1950's, I was in the dark about so much.
Even a shortlived correspondence with a cousin didn't reveal much due to possible censorship by Yugoslav Authorities.
We did manage to get some documents out, in 1989, before the wars came to the country, and I was able to get the Immigration Files of my Father, but this just leads to more unanswered questions.
Contact with that branch has been sporadic, and confusing, ever since.
So I decided to focus on my American Roots.
Unknown to me that was started too late as well.
By the late 1980's only my Mother, and two Uncles, were left of the generations that were born between 1890 and 1940.
My Mom, Grandmother, Half-Aunt, and Uncles all told stories, but did I ever think to pay close attention, and record them in some fashion?
What finally struck my fancy, and got me started on the sporadic 21 year journey that has been my efforts at research, was the story of the mysterious death of my Maternal Grandfather, and the claim by my Mom that it was front page news in 1937 Owensboro, KY.
Like all children we think our parents, especially our Mothers, will live forever, and we will have all the time in the world to ask questions, record stories, and more.
Mom died suddenly in 1990.
My research took a back seat to my struggling life... until I went online in 1998.
In 2001 and 2002 I discovered using the internet for genealogy, and my research perked up again.
I have Family Tree Maker 2006 Collectors Edition, organized my photos by year, and decade, put my info into file folders, and solved an old family mystery, the details of which I will share in future posts.
I've got One Uncle who thinks my digging is just grand, and the one who didn't, for reasons mysterious died a year or so ago...
'll be catching readers up with the state of my research, and exploring the websites in my blogroll as well so, if you have an interest in genealogy stop by from time to time and, even more importantly, check out those websites!
I've got more mysteries than I know what to do with, thanks to the help over the years of other researchers, and a place, this blog, to share my journey, and also encourage others to look within themselves, and their families, and find their own answers to "Where I'm From".
Continue on to How I Became the Family Genealogist 2.