Monday, October 06, 2008

So I'm searching my family tree. It's fascinating, and harder work that you'd think. So far I've hit dead ends on both my mother's and my father's side of the family. On my mother's side I'm hampered by the fact that her maiden name is maddeningly common and that her mother's family has a last name that nobody knows how to spell (seriously, I've tried every spelling I can think of to no avail). On my father's side I can trace his maternal side to the first ones to come to the US from France, but on his father's side I can't get past my dad's grandfather. But I shall keep searching.

It's peculiar how interested I am in my family history, considering how I'm not the most familial of creatures. But I really want to know where I come from. Unfortunately my father is dead and my mother's memory isn't too sharp these days so I'm running out of people to ask for details. We have some of them written down from years ago, but nobody has done anything to document it. So I am. It's both intriguing and infuriating that each new discovery only raises more questions. For example, I found a census with my great-grandmother (on my mother's side) on it. It says she was born in Canada (but doesn't say where), that her mother was born in Ireland (doesn't say where) and her father was born in Scotland (again, doesn't say where). The big problem is that the men in my mom's family have names that are the Scottish equivalent of "John Smith." Do a search for my grandfather's name and you'll likely find a thousand men.

I'm working on Husband's family as well. In actual fact his family tree is more interesting than mine (including a great-great grandmother with the glorious name of Araminta), but here too I can only get so far. It's an exercise in patience and research (I love to research things, but I haven't much patience) and I know I'll eventually make breakthroughs (at least I hope I will). I have no visions of tracing either family back to William the Conquerer or Charlemagne, but it would be nice to have more information about who we come from.

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