Wednesday, September 9, 2015

brick walls

The last few years, I've been using some of my sporadic free time to research family history. And in some areas, I'm stuck. I have quite a few records from aunts and uncles that I've been entering into ancestry.com. Sometimes their records match census records; sometimes they don't. One of the craziest things I've encountered with one side of the family is that the family names, births, marriages, and deaths recorded in the family Bible have no link to anyone in our family tree that I can find. It's driving me crazy. I have a small family tree mapped out, but no clue as to how it relates to my family.  Or I have names and dates, but they don't match anything in the census record. Or you simply can't find anyone at all. It's quite frustrating. Before the internet searches became so huge, a library in Raleigh offered classes once or twice a year on how to start researching your family, but I've not seen that advertised in a very long time.

And the reality is, while I'm very curious and would love to prove/disprove a few family legends, the reality is, it doesn't change anything at all. Regardless of who my ancestors were or where they are (or are not) from, I still have to clean house and fulfill obligations, show up to appointments. Life does not stop just because of what happened in the past, and the reality of what Jesus changed in my life does not evaporate because I do/do not have a certain heritage.

So I'll keep searching and pouring over beautiful but hard to read handwriting in search of certain names and dates. Hopefully I won't aggravate any more family members in the process with some of my discoveries (or lack thereof). And maybe when it's all over, I won't feel so much like the people who sit back in shock upon learning history is not quite what they anticipated.


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