December is so very busy in my house. I hope everyone else is enjoying the holiday season as much as my family is!
I’m writing today because I was honored by Cheri Daniels of Journeys Past. She’s awarded me the Ancestor Approved award!
There are two rules of the award.
- List 10 things that you have learned about your ancestors that surprised, humbled, or enlightened you.
- Pass the award to 10 other genealogy bloggers!
I can’t wait to pass the award on but I don’t have a list ready. I’m going to probably award it one at a time and highlight each choice as a Follow Friday entry!
- One of the things that’s surprised/humbled/enlightened me the most is just the sheer number of family members I have. Before I got started with this genealogy thing, I thought my immediate family was it. I knew of my scattered extended family in Ohio and New Jersey but they weren’t real to me because we just weren’t around them enough for me to realize that these people had a connection to me that just couldn’t be described.
- They were tough. I feel so blessed with the things and opportunities I have access to in my life. As I research the older, more rural roots of my family tree, I’m humbled by the amount of tragedy my family has witnessed. Everything from infant deaths to tragic river and railroad accidents.
- I’m actually really surprised by all the family legends that I hadn’t heard before. Whether it be that we might be related to Robert Redford or General Maxwell Taylor to the ancestor who allegedly pushed his wife down the stairs.
- Since I was sort of disconnected from family during my childhood, I didn’t have anything to build on. So it surprised me that so many things I’ve grown to love, has a connection to my family. I’ve always been fascinated by Brooklyn. I’d never visited or lived there, I just loved it for some reason (Newsies might have had something to do with it). Then I find out my ancestors lived there for over 30 years. I’ve always been in love with Ireland and Scotland. More so Ireland but Scotland was a close second. Now I know that my father’s family came from both places.
- Band of Brothers. This is sort of a continuation of #4 but oh well. One of my loves is the mini-series Band of Brothers. Ever since seeing the mini-series, I devour anything having to do with WWII. It wasn’t until I researching my 5th Great Grandfather Bartholomew Taylor, that I found the “coincidence” that confirms my fascination with this huge part of history. A Google Book search of Bartholomew Taylor, Maryland yielded a snippet from a biography written by a son, about his father. The father was General Maxwell D Taylor. The snippet says that “The Taylor line came to Missouri from England via Maryland and Kentucky. One ancestor, Bartholomew Taylor, had been a soldier in the Revolution.” Certainly not enough to link the General to my line. However, it’s enough for me to add the General to my list of people to research. If I research him backwards, maybe I’ll find where our lines cross, or maybe I’ll find nothing. It was a shock to see that snippet though. So take my advice, try the Google Book search!
- The Menzies Family. Anything having to do with the Menzies family surprises and humbles me. In the course of my research, I’ve had immediate connections to a lot of the people I’m researching. That’s not the case with the Menzies family. I started out knowing nothing about them. Over the passage of time, I’ve learned little nuggets of information and found clues in unusual places. All in all, this family that I didn’t have an inkling of grew to be one of my favorite families to research. They started in Scotland, went to Liverpool, England and from there they made the huge leap to America. Settling in New York couldn’t have been easy. I know from the letters of William (ha! Another William!) to his sister Jane and I know that this family did it’s best to stick together. I have no idea how the family got along on a day to day basis, but the root of the family was strong. It outlasted death, marriage, and wouldn’t be weakened by an ocean.
- Llewellyn’s Journal. I can only hope I finish my site redesign before the new year. That way my website will be equipped to handle the transcription project I’m going to start. This journal is a peek into the life of my Great Grandmother between 1923 and 1926. It’s probably my favorite piece of family history.
- They stayed put. In a generation where a lot of my family is scattered across the country, it was hard for me to realize that my ancestors didn’t like to move. They found a spot they liked and they stayed there. My mom’s family choosing rural Kentucky and my Dad’s family has a long history in New Jersey and New York City. I have to say I’ve sometimes imagined what it would be like if we all still lived in the same community still.
- I have to say again that I grew up with next to no family in the immediate area. So when I found the funeral visitation register for my Great Grandfather William L Moore, I was so humbled to see how many people came out to say goodbye. If the book wasn’t a big shocker, the actual condolence cards and notes would have bowled me over. There’s a small suitcase full of them. All comforting Llewellyn on the loss of her husband.
- William. This is the big kahuna of all my surprises. I am frankly ASTONISHED by the use of the name William in my family. There are 6 generations of William Moore’s on my Dad’s side and who knows how many William Mays and William Taylors on my Moms. It makes you want to never see the name again quite frankly, but then it makes you sad that the tradition would come to an end.