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Thursday, June 5, 2008

My Hillbilly Roots

For the second time in less than a year I find myself obsessed with my genealogy. I started this last fall and then lost the time and will to keep it up. Now my niece has stoked my interest again with her own searching and questions about what I know of our history. It is a fascinating process which requires a good deal of patience. Sifting through records and leads hoping for a connection somewhere. It is especially hard when the family you are researching were poor illiterate farm hands. Even the census records list them as unable to read and write. This means that almost all legal documents connected to my family are at the mercy of someone wielding a pen at the courthouse, or a census taker knocking on doors every 10 years or so. Spellings are changed, birthplaces sometimes listed incorrectly and even birth years are often simple estimations. If I ever sift through all this it will be a miracle.

I am proud of the hardworking people I come from. They were the salt of the Earth, laboring to feed their many children and keep a roof over their heads. There have been scandalous rumors passed down through the generations of outlaws, and a murderer and I have possibly confirmed the rumor that my great great grandfather was a polygamist. Even the census records make note of a 'possible polygamist situation' LOL! Who'd a thunk it?! Me - Miss Liberal minded, live and let live, love and love more...had a polygamist for a grandpa! Guess it runs in my blood! LOL!

I am using Ancestry.com but I would love to hear from others out there who share my passion for genealogy. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I am having a terrible time finding any records of one of my great grandfather's birthplaces or parents. His death record seems to be the only document that exists for him, and the birthplace listed is incorrect...unless he had no birth certificate...which is highly possible. But right now I am not ruling out anything. I am sifting through census files from across the country. Slowly but surely.....I enjoy every minute of it!

4 comments:

Shannon said...

Good for you! Because my paternal grandparents are LDS, I have more than enough family history on that side. As for my mom's family - I'd sure like to know a whole lot more about them! I just don't have the patience to collect the information myself. Maybe in 30 years or so!

Shannon said...

Not to say all LDS families have this information - my grandma's family is just VERY into the genealogy thing!

Lori said...

I, too, love genealogy. I have been at it for 15+ years. My interest waxes and wanes but it is always there. One little piece of advice - use internet findings (especially other people's research) only as a springboard for your own research. Good luck!!

John said...

From the storm pictures you posted, it looks like part of Southern Illinois I have visited. I recommend the public library in Metropolis. Last time I was there, Karen was very helpful and they had some good resources.

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