Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Vacations are what you make them

Okay, so mine is in line with a "Stay-cation" where I'm pretty much staying on the home front, just happy to be away from my desk.  It's giving me time to do a little gold mining and this morning I hit pay dirt!

All right.  I confess.   It wasn't literally in my backyard, but it was close enough. My idea of fun is delving deeper into my past....as in Family Tree past.  Hey, to each his/her own.  And much to the amusement of some family members, I'm not interested in finding famous heroes, I just want to know how that DNA trickled down to me, how it shaped me.  We have lots of Farmers on both sides....no wonder I like the smell of dirt and watching things grow.  

Truth is, I've fallen in love with the stories I uncover.  Currently I'm working on the Irish/Scottish clans.   I mean, how many of us were in a Revolutionary War, got a sabre cut to the face, finished the fight, got captured, escaped and almost bled to death on the way home?  Best part?  That this ancestor's wife was just as brave; meeting him 2 miles from home to tend to his wounds until he was  well again.  And yes, just like a man....he went back to the fight.   Good news is he lived to be  86.  There are more like him on the branches of the tree, illustrating that my habit of being um...stubborn....is deeply rooted. 

This summer I signed up for Ancestry.com for ONE YEAR only with a goal of finding long ago relatives, most of whom came from across the pond; Englishmen who turned out to be of Dutch origin and  an Irish clan which is showing signs of Scotch-Irish.   Today I discovered that some of them claim Scotland as home.  [Hugh, I told you and Titus I'd find some Scots!]

On Ancestry you can check out lots of documents and talk to other folks interested in seeing where they came from.  You can correct errors, most of which concern spelling, and "speak" with people working on the same  family names.  How exotic!  To talk with someone online about a shared mysterious relative whom you secretly hope is a hero, not a zero.   Far away places with stories of the faraway past.

Ironically, the gold nugget which fell in my lap today was almost literally from my own backyard.

I've been sharing info with a "cousin" I'd met on that site last week who was able to document that I was RIGHT about a past relative that others have argued "Is to/Is not!" rather than dig deeper for the truth.  There is a big difference in those of us who love the history vs. those who just want a chart for their wall...IF it has famous people on it.  And no, as much of a temptation as it is at times, I haven't "trimmed" any unwanted limbs off  my family tree.

This "cousin" and I share the same 3x Great Grandfather and have been "filling in the blanks" for each other.  Between e-mails I wondered if this guy was half way across the country or the world.  Before I could ask, he offered his location....about 2 hours from me.  :)

One of the best gifts I could ever receive came from him in an e-mail this morning.  

To you this is just some old guy on a wagon.
To us, it's Great,Great, Great Grandfather Samuel Alexander Faries.
To me...it's a piece of the puzzle to my past.
In truth, it's priceless.

7 comments:

Thom said...

Wow this sounds interesting. I wonder how many I would find from Uranus? LOL All kidding aside, I'm going to have to check out that site. I loved what you received in your email. How cool. I'll be anxious to hear what you come up with :)

hope said...

Actually your last name pops up quite a bit in the area where this 3x great Grandpappy dwelt. Got any N.C. relatives that you know of?

Good news is that Ancestry will let you play free for a few days....then you get hooked and they want money. :)

steven said...

whoosh!!! i really like the gentle unpacking of the past and especially the telling of how it impacts on you in the present. lucky lucky you!!! steven

savannah said...

how exciting, sugar! i'll have to try because there's no one left on my side of the family to ask. :( xoxox

Monkey Man said...

love family history. i am luck my mom's sister did a tremendous amount of work on ancestry and I am the beneficiary. Good stuff, hope.

Titus said...

Great post.
And yes, that photo is priceless. As well as being utterly marvellous. What one image can tell us...

Brighid said...

Oh Gosh, you have to keep us posted.
I've done a bit of sluething in my father's father's tree and it has been interesting. Even managed to snag a few of the old photos. Nothing special to the rest of the world, but interesting to me.