Friday, February 1, 2008

Roots, & family photos

Since Mr. Flu Bug hit me I haven't left the house all week. (Quite a record for me!) Anyway, we are both feeling better and hope to keep our germs to ourselves.

I've spent some time putting my family tree information on this week. I happened to have a weeks free service to try it out....& I'm afraid I'm hooked! If any of you are serious about doing your family research, it is a great website. I have used "Family Tree Genealogy" program for several years & was able to upload it without a problem. And then I found more information that I didn't have...much to my giddy glee!!!

Most of my family information has been gleened through research of others. I've found that the genealogy people on the Internet are very willing to share their findings, hoping you might have something that they don't have. I've met a very distant cousin in California that traded family facts with me. Later, he & his wife traveled through this way & spent a couple of nights in our home. (Bet you didn't know I had an Internet friend! :) I met another sweet lady cousin in Texas who's father was from a branch of the family I didn't even know about. She wrote emails, sent letters, & later gave me family photos that I treasure. We still exchange cards every once in a while.

I've found out that the fur traders who were the first settlers on Manhattan Island were ancestors of mine. I've found out that one of my great-great-great-grandmothers had SIXTEEN children! Her husband later got the wild idea to travel from Missouri to California to join the gold rush. Somewhere on that journey it is told that he met up with an ornery bear that scarred his eye. I would never have known that one of my cousins died on the front lines of WWI in France & now has an American Legion Post that bears his name in southern Missouri. I would not have known that my grandmother's two younger brothers died in the early 1900's from dyptheria.

Looking at old family photos, I notice how fancy some of their clothing was. Were they considered wealthy people at one time?

Some of my research notebooks

The McMinns of great-great grandparents

Then there were the family records of more recent years, where I found that my grandfather lost his farm during the depression not one time but twice. And another grandfather had to take his family from Missouri to Oklahoma to work in the sawmills. While living there in a makeshift tent, thankfully with a wooden floor, my father was born.

I've begged Bob to take me to a cemetery in Missouri where probably most everywho buried there was connected to our family in some way. Bob sat in the car in 103 degree heat, paitently waiting for me, while I trapsed through the tombstones, snapping pictures of markers that I thought might mean something later on. I was scared by a roaming rooster, barked at by several mean looking dogs, & chased by a very mad hornet! And now that it has been a few years & I've found more connections, I want to go back. Unfortunately, Bob doesn't share my desire to tiptoe through the tombstones...
My cabinet used to display old family photos, books & keepsakes

So I'll go on enjoying my faded old photos for myself, for the time being, hoping that someday, one of my little ones may care that we can trace our roots way back into the 1600's! And that doesn't even count on Bob's side of the family!


Michelle said...

You're a good writer, Sheila; and I love the phrase "tiptoe through the tombstones".

My mom's brother has done a lot of family research and he discovered that Cades Cove in Tennessee was named after an old ancestor. I ought to have him write that out for me and post it some day!

Sheila said...

Thanks,Michelle, but I tend to ramble! I've been to Cades Cove & thought it was so pretty there. Some of my family comes from Kentucky & Tennessee also. I love that part of the country & wonder why they traveled west...but they were going after the free territory! Please have your uncle write the story out for you. You will find that as the years go by, you will have no one to ask about the past. My parents & all of their sibling are gone, except for one aunt. And she no longer can communicate with us. Get your stories while you can!

Karen Walden said...

Good job Mom! Keep on searching, that way I won't have to do it in later years!!! Be sure you have everything written down for me though so I know "who's who!" :)

Nathan and Tricia said...

Glad to hear that you are feeling better!! I think the bug has stopped at our house now...wonderful. I enjoyed reading about your family history. Wish that I had the time to do it would be very interesting!

Anonymous said...

I'm SO glad I have an "OLDER" sister to do the research! :) Isn't it weird not having anyone to ask about the old days?!?!
Glad you're feeling better. The flu-bug has been hitting people wiht a vengance. Have fun taking care of Bob! :-0

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

OOPS! My comment was published twice. Sorry

Sheila said...

Carol...I deleted it for you. :) is weird to not be able to ask Mom or Dad about some things. Maybe that should tell us something...some things are better told than kept to ourselves. Not that they really had secrets...just didn't think we would care.

We hopefully are on the mend. This is a nasty virus. Someone told me it was especially hard on "old people". :( Think they meant me????

Denise said...

That is all fascinating. I am very intrigued with genealogy. I would love to add that to my list of hobbies one of these days. (If I get my kids raised & then have all the time I "plan" on having.) ;)