I joined Ancestry.com today. This is not a sponsored post. This is me describing how I wasted an entire work day chasing leaves.
Ancestry has a 14 day free trial and after hearing a commercial this morning for their Veteran's Day special and being further reminded how much I just don't know about my own roots, I joined. If you know me, you know I love history. Anything old. Anything with a story. Anything that enables my mind to get lost in the thoughts of where people long ago walked. This is only increased even more dramatically and romantically in my head when it's my own heritage.
So I got to work and instead of signing up for my new year's benefits like I was supposed to seeing as open enrollment started today, I started a family tree. See, this is all you need to do. Just put in yourself, your parents, and your grandparents. Then fall down the rabbit hole. For the record, Ancestry.com has no idea I am writing this and hopefully will not get mad at me. I am promoting you!
History has always been my crack. The idea of being in a place where someone was so long ago and imagining them there is to me the most fascinating thing I could be doing. When I get to bring my kids and explain (blabber on and on and on) why that particular place is so interesting, what happened there, and walk around imagining that time and place is even better.
After my son was born in 2004, I did a lot of reading into my heritage and my family. I did some digging, did some writing, and came up with a lot of dead ends. I never knew where my great grandparents were buried, just that it was somewhere probably in Boonton, NJ. So I went one day and wandered around two cemeteries. All day. I never found them. My father recently told me that my grandfather never knew where they were buried either as they passed when he was younger, and it was something that bothered my grandmother a lot.
After my daughter was born this year, I became again agitating with that fever to know more about my family. It's not so much that I want to know so that I know more about me. It's that I want to know more about them. They lived in different times. They wore different clothes and had different jobs. They worried about different things. But at the same time, we have our things that are the same, and I want to find all of those things.
I want to go to the cities and towns where they lived. I want to see the homes they lived in. I want to ride the roads the walked and touch things they touched and feel that presence. I have always felt connected to family who no longer walks this earth. Sometimes I wonder if what I feel is people I never met. Something in me just needs to know more.
I have made lists of the family names that I know. My father put a call in to his cousin who has been a keeper of records and genealogy for his side of the family. I would like to gather some of his knowledge. My family on that side is based in Boonton. Then I have my father's maternal side who is based in Carbondale, PA. But that is just a small part of the puzzle. I am also launching a look into my mother's maternal family. New Hope, PA is my launching point.
So off I go!