From time to time, I have worked on ancestry.com to learn about my lineage. It’s interesting but the time it takes is endless. I had searched last fall for my maternal grandfather’s family without any success and, then, got busy and put it aside. I had already stumbled onto my maternal grandmother’s side of the family. A far distant cousin had done all the work and I found his family tree; we corresponded briefly and it was neat to email with him about our respective families.
Last night, I decided to try once more to find my grandfather’s family. After about an hour, I discovered that I had an error in my data regarding my grandfather which was quickly corrected. Running the search again with the corrected data, suddenly there it was— my grandfather’s family. I couldn’t believe it. Once again, I found a family tree that included my grandfather’s family. I was able to go back to the 1500’s and ancestors in England.
There are still many unanswered questions which I can now follow up on, but, at the very least, I have a place to start. It was fun to see all my great-aunts and uncles many of whom I met in the past. I called my uncle and we discussed all of them that we knew. Continuity in a family is a tenous thing. We all love each other but are separated physically by miles and only rarely speak. But with one phone call it all comes rushing back. Family. What a special thing it is and how often do we treat it so casually without any thought to consequences.
My immediate family works at staying close to each other because we live so far apart scattered as we are across the United States. Perhaps, it’s because we moved so often and only had each other for those first few months after resettling. I am trying to write an autobiography of me and my husband so our grandchildren will have some idea of what we were like and perhaps provide the answers to questions they will have when I am no longer here. It is also quite possible that they won’t care one twit about either of us. No matter. It will be there if they want it.
Lineage doesn’t tell us what we can be, only what was. What we are is our individual choice and each decision determines what we will become. No one can tell us if that choice is right or wrong and often we don’t know either. There is always risk; however, calculated risk is a good thing and keeps life interesting. So, here’s to all the generations before who have brought us to the now. We are grateful.