First, let me say thank you for the kind words when I posted about my little accident. I took my six year old great grandson to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens and tripped on a curb and kissed the sidewalk, rather passionately. I broke my nose, several bones in my sinuses, dislocated my jaw, broke several front teeth, and my left wrist. Needless to say, I am still recovering and will be for a while, however, I really seem to be healing pretty quickly. God is good! And would you believe, all that and I didn't break my glasses or even one fingernail! Amazing!
While I have been restricted in my normal activities, my granddaughter, Amanda, the mother of the six year old who was with me that night, has spent a lot of time with me. She has firmly captured me with her latest passion, genealogy. Our family ancestry. She has always been fascinated with my background, mainly because I didn't have one. I was raised in foster homes and only knew that my biological father was born in Ireland and my biological mother was born in North Dakota and their names. One night while browsing on her computer, she came upon ancestry.com and the rest is (yes, pun intended) history.
She has been sending me text at all hours or bursting in the back door breathless with new bits of information. So far, she has traced us back as far as 800 ad and found that we are direct descendants of King John. Imagine that! Diluted as it may be, I seem to have a bit of royal blood! Of course, given that the royalty of by gone eras planted their seeds far and wide, I can't help but wonder what side of the blanket we may have come from, but still, a King! Dang! Maybe I'm supposed to be a Duchess or something! And no wonder I am so partial to Historical romances.
Okay, maybe not, but its fun to contemplate. I love history so much and its absolutely exhilarating to find little connections to a past I have studied at various times in my life, or even walked on. I live in the historical triangle of Virginia, Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg and we had an ancestor who fought at Yorktown and helped defeat Cornwallis and the British, helped secure our freedom and the building of the greatest nation on earth.
Another relative was given 3000 acres of land in Connecticut by one of the English Kings. Now, I think we should pack up and go see just what happened to that land! Surely he didn't squander it away! Could there possibly be any left UN-entailed? Of course not, but let me remind you that I am taking pain killers and my mind is wandering uninhibited.
I have sat with Amanda to help her with her search and found so many things on the Internet, right there at your fingertips, that give you a thousand directions to look for ancestors. Besides "ancestry.com" there are hundreds of similar sites, not as well advertised, but still the result of someones hard work and available for your use. www.stategensites.org is a list by states of vital records, births, deaths, adoptions, Historical Societies, cemeteries, and census records. www.usgenweb./org is a free site manned by volunteers who stand ready to assist one with searches. www.familychronical.com/webpicks.htm will guide you to sites that pertain to your particular interest.
The lists go on and on and provide endless hours of fascinating research. But there is more. I had no idea that my granddaughter had always felt a little cheated by not having ancestors from me, the relative she loves most in all the world. I think she started this looking for her own past, and on the way found mine. It has been an incredible bonding experience for us and given me a place in the world I never knew I had. I'm no longer just a woman with no past, standing alone. I am one generation in a long line of real people with names and lives, triumphs and tragedies, some famous and rich, some infamous and poor, but most just regular people getting along with life and filling in the gaps in my history.
Many of you may have already made this journey, but if you haven't, I urge you to do so! It gives you such a wonderful feeling of belonging somewhere. As writers, it can't help but stir your creative juices!
See you in February! Hope the weather holds out, at least here in Virginia. Its been very mild so far, and for my part, it can stay that way!