Thursday, August 28, 2014

family history

I've been looking through family history off and on for the last six months. It started with a gift subscription to ancestry.com for someone whom I thought would love it but hasn't used it at all. I've learned a lot. Had a lot of questions raised that I'm still hoping to get some answers for (but am reconciling myself to the fact that they may never be answered), and am learning some very interesting facts. So far I've found documented proof that 2 people fought in the Civil War for the CSA, and their father refused to support them in any way, housed Union troops and won a small settlement (though only 1/5 of what he asked for) from the Federal Government for all the crops the troops supposedly confiscated. I'm still sorting through the papers and trying to read the blurry print. I've not had time to verify other stories of ancestors who fought, and am finding it is necessary to verify things others have researched.  For example, there were 20 Nathaniel Guytons alive during the Civil War, and 5 of those were Nathaniel F. Guyton (3 in the South and 2 up North). It would be very easy to say "Oh! Nathaniel F. Guyton is here, fighting, and there's a record of us his property in Alabama" and go on about my reading, forgetting that the AL boy is only 25 and my ancestor NFG was in his 40's at the time, PLUS was born and living in GA the first 30+ years of his life (according to census records). That changes things. I'm finding that sometimes people click on things as matches and save them to their family files as "proof" of family lineage, when in further reading, they made a hasty and inaccurate decision.

But when all is said and done, it doesn't change who I am one iota. I enjoy learning about people of the past, but it really and truly has no bearing on how I live my life, whether or not the chicken pen has to be cleaned, that the grass needs to be cut, or that I have a long list of projects clamoring for my attention. And at the end of my life, I will give an account to God for how I lived my life and how I responded to others, not for anyone else's actions or reactions. And that's nice to know.

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