I am now in Sweden for the second half of my 50th Birthday trip. Part of the birthday gift to myself is to travel to the countries where my family lineage began. I am the family historian and researcher. I have traced two family lines to the early 1600’s and the others lines to the 1700’s.
I began keeping family records and asking questions in the 1980’s. I was so taken by the stories and the pictures of my ancestors, that my love for genealogy was born! In the 1980’s, there was no internet, no smart phones and no ancestry.com
! Doing family research was very time consuming. I had piles of notebooks and Manila envelopes with information. I hand wrote the letters as well as typed family trees to send to people who might be family. Long distance calls were very expensive. I didn’t do much calling unless I knew for sure the call was to an actual relative. Communication was slow and I needed to be patient.
I traveled to small towns in South Dakota and Iowa looking for century old cemeteries, taking pictures and talking with local people to find out anything I could. I spent countless hours at libraries looking through old news papers and micro phish. My favorite family information comes from the oral history passed from family member to family member. Some of the stories I can corroborate with newspaper clippings and others stories are just family lore.
Tomorrow I go to Halen Sweden to where my Great Grandmother was born. I don’t know who or what I will find there but I know that it is another piece of my ancestry puzzle.
YOU KNOW YOU’RE AN ADDICTED GENEALOGIST
…when you brake for libraries.
…if you get locked in a library overnight and you never even notice.
…when you hyperventilate at the sight of an old cemetery.
…if you’d rather browse in a cemetery than a shopping mall.
…when you think every home should have a microfilm reader.
…if you’d rather read census schedules than a good book.
…when you know every town clerk in your state by name.
…if town clerks lock the doors when they see you coming.
…when you’re more interested in what happened in 1697 than 2017.
…if you store your clothes under the bed and your closet is carefully stacked with notebooks and journals.
…if you can pinpoint Harrietsham, Hawkhurst, and Kent on a map of England, but can’t locate Topeka, Kansas.
…when all your correspondence begins, “Dear Cousin,”
…if you’ve traced every one of your ancestral lines back to Adam and Eve, have it all fully documented, and still don’t want to quit.
Poem: Author Unknown
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