I enjoy researching people's lives and writing their stories. For me, it's a natural passion, but was it important to others? To determine whether oth...
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In the mid-1990s, interest in my personal family lineage was sparked. Like most, as a youth, I knew my grandparents and had the pleasure of knowing one great-grandmother. On my father's side of the family, my grandparents passed away early in my youth. I still treasure our precious few memories together, but like most teenagers, my interest in family history was minimal. Today, I regret not asking them about our ancestors. Tragically, the year before my personal interest in family history was kindled, my father was killed in an automobile accident. If he had information about the family, it was lost to the eternities. To learn about this side of my family, I began relying upon research alone.
On my mother's side of the family, longevity was expected and experienced. My great-grandmother lived into her 90s, and her mother lived to be 88. Fortunately for me, my genealogical interest peaked at an opportune time. My grandmother and mother lived a few blocks away, and visiting them more often was encouraged.
In 1996, my ancestral curiosity was growing in intensity. So enamored in connecting the family names, I sought training and received my genealogy certification. During the training, the initial prescribed research steps were to check the family Bible for dates and names, gather old photos with descriptions, and discuss the lineage with family elders. With my grandmother the eldest living member a few blocks away, I posed a question, "Would she like to discuss our family history." While I knew she would assist, much to my surprise, she was more enthusiastic than anticipated. We made an arrangement to meet, and the next day, we had a remarkable discussion. I was astonished. Like a young schoolgirl preparing to take an oral exam, she had studied and retrieved her important documents from an old wooden trunk. A small hard cover notebook, newspaper clippings, and original family documents were retrieved from a large manila envelope. Sharing what I knew took little time. From the manila envelope, Gran helped me connect the family names and dates. At 81, her memory was amazing. She added names back to my fourth great-grandmother. Completely satisfied with Gran's willingness and effort, I prepared to leave, but then, my genealogical embers were bellowed. Gran gently took my hand and expressed a desire to tell me a story. It was about my third great-grandfather Manuel Garcia de Medeiros (see the story excerpt). His story was filled with intrigue, adventure, and promise. Suddenly, our family tree was more than roots, a trunk, and branches. The stories added foliage. My lineage had transformed from a barren deciduous structure to a growing springtime shade tree. Since that day, my family genealogy has evolved into more than an organizational chart. It has become a full embodied passion with stories of notable ancestors.
Today, other like-minded researchers share the same passion. The silver tsunami of Baby Boom genealogists is very prevalent. Sadly, the genealogical passion by other generations appears to be minimal. There are a myriad of reasons for this, but one reason can be attributed to new technology. iPhones are amazing! They are interesting, exciting, and fun. AncestralHistory is attempting to reinvigorate genealogical interest amongst the younger generations by publishing their personal family profiles for notable and famous family members. The profiles are designed to add interest in family genealogical work and history.
AncestralHistory's next blog post will discuss the profiles.