Thursday, January 26, 2012

Genealogy as Grief Therapy

Alex in June of 2011
 I think anyone who has spent any time researching their family history can relate to this....the process brings our ancestors back to life. In the case of researching those relatives who have passed in our own lifetime, it keeps them alive in a different and special way.

I'd been researching my family for some time before my son passed in August 2011. I had become familiar and comfortable working with death certificates, funeral home and cemetery records and even traipsing through cemeteries. For 5 years I've researched a local founding family in my community and I participate in the annual Stories and Stones storytelling program at our local cemetery; the very cemetery where I would bury my son. I feel at home there. I know the names of many of the "residents' and know the stories and history of those individuals who are neighbors to my child. As gut wrenching as it is to lose a child, the entire process has been softened by the knowledge, experience and very act of researching my ancestors.

My son would often come to the computer room and sit with me. He'd act very bored and put upon, but would usually ask what I was working on, or had I found anything interesting. He'd listen and look at photos and, I hope, would absorb the information. When he passed on, I took great comfort in knowing that he would be met by people he knew. I also gives me comfort to know that I'll meet up with him again someday and have the opportunity to meet and reconnect with all those who've gone on before me.

This hobby has brought me comfort and understanding during a very dark time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Productive time

Finally got my FTM software. It's all installed and syncing and everything is coming up little shaking leaves.
I'm also enjoying the 3 free months of access. Granted, it's only US records, but I've found lots of records on my collateral lines, not to mention photographs and family stories.
Lastly, I've managed to make contact with several distant relations re; information on their trees and offering to share what I've found in my own research.
I'm hoping that with collaberation, we can knock down a brick wall or two.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Friday Funny...Smile for the Panda

source unknown
Pandas hold a special place in our house, so when I saw this old photo, I just had to share it.
I wish I knew the story behind it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Motivation Monday...Family Tree Maker 2012 and subscription

Currently waiting for my order from to show up. I finally broke down and bought Family Tree Maker 2012 with a free three month subscription. I've been searching and bookmarking all the records that I want to examine and will be ready to hit the floor running when the box shows up in my mailbox. Can NOT wait.