If every good story has a beginning, a middle, and an end, then I am in trouble before I even start. With genealogy, the beginning happened long before recorded history and the end will happen way beyond the duration of my life and my ability to record it. So all I have to work with is the middle. But it’s all about the middle. It’s about the process, the journey, the means and not the end.
Genealogy has been a passion of mine since the end of eighth grade. It felt somehow magical to attach names, faces and a life story to the individuals that joined together in their life struggles, carved out a living, made a family, and handed down their DNA to me. It’s much, much more than just collecting a list of names and dates. It’s about bringing people to life, off the page and out of the records.
Some things are handed to you “on a silver platter,” and other things you have to go out and find for yourself. Well, silver or otherwise, the platter of information does give you a starting point. But that’s not the fun part. The fun part comes in the detective work.
I have been fortunate to have had many genealogical adventures in my quest to bring my ancestors to life. I hope to have many more such adventures. Here I present a sample of some of the adventures, some of the discoveries. If, in the retelling of these tales, I can even approximate the fun and fulfillment I’ve experienced in gathering ancestors, I will be satisfied. Meanwhile, I hope that some of these ancestors belong to you, too. Perhaps my story will be a starting point for the next generation of passionate ancestor-seekers. Since there is no beginning and no end, here is my part of the middle.