Technically, it’s Sunday. But, my brain is so befuddled lately that I’m day late and a dollar short most of the time. So, I’m doing Randy’s challenge today.
Brenda Joyce has an interesting blog post called Who or What Do You Blame? In this post she writes about how she got started on her genealogy journey. Randy’s challenge over at Genea-Musings is to blog about that moment.
I’ve always loved history. It was my favorite topic in school. I wanted to learn why and how of the events in addition to the who, when, and where that my history teachers were cramming down my throat. I also was curious as to how my own ancestor fit into these events and how they reacted to them. So, I had a pretty good basis to start with. I already had a yearning to know more about historical events. That wasn’t enough to get me going on my family tree.
When I was 26, I was visiting with my maternal Grandmother. By this time, I was taking interest in my family history. I knew so little about my Mom’s side of the tree and only a smidgen more about my Dad’s. I had always been fascinated in the old photos and stories. But, my Grandma spoke little of her past which made me feel incomplete. I wanted to know more.
My Grandma began talking about how she had written my oldest brother some letters about our family history. And, he was so not interested!
She wanted someone to compile the family history so the whole family would have it. I offered my help. And she refused it! Not once but a few times! She came from a different era and for some reason she felt only the oldest Grandson could embark on such a journey.
I kept bugging her about it. Eventually, she wrote down some stuff for me. I plotted everything on a pedigree chart and showed it to her. She was impressed with my very limited abilities.
After she sent me the fourth letter, she told me that “it’s finished”. Oh, but she didn’t know what she had unleashed! By the time she sent me the fourth letter, I had already checked out several books from the library, tracked down my Mom’s cousins widow, and contact the Portuguese Genealogy Society of Hawaii. I was like a junkie in need of an ancestor fix.
My Grandma was never thrilled with the idea of me delving further into the past than she had given me–considering that most of what she passed on to me was flat out wrong or the revisionist version of our family tree. She would say things like “Oh don’t even bother. They’re all dead now.” Too late Grandma! I was so hooked to learning more about my family history that there was no way should could have pried me away from a microfilm reader even if she wasn’t in a wheelchair!
So, that’s how I got my start. I blame my Grandma for getting me started on this wonderful adventure. Truth be told, I think I would have gotten on this path with or without her prodding eventually. I had a natural curiosity about history and a longing to know more about where where my ancestors came from. Genealogy was gaining in popularity just as I started asking alot of questions. It was just a matter of time.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com