My mission is to expand people’s interest in Genealogy. In today’s society, many of the topics genealogists deal with are controversial & I’ve noticed that the generation growing up today is more interested in distancing themselves from history than they are in embracing or even, heaven forbid… owning it. I can make genealogy less of an emotional burden & I can take the boring out of it. At least, I think I can, we’ll see about that. It is necessary to do this, or else the 20somethings of the present day will not continue the work, & we can’t let them just walk away. And so it is that the rough parts of American History need reconciliation for their sake. They weren’t built with it in mind that they’d have to take responsibility for their ancestors choices, so putting themselves in a position to love the people who gave them life is gonna be more difficult. This thing I am talking about will affect their self esteem & their ability to stand for anything at all. It could be tragic, to say the least, if we continue to allow guilt to lead them into the future.
Why do I need an entire website? Well it started out as JUST a blog… but then I realized some things aren’t bloggy topics or necessarily topics that need any commentary nor would the info add sunshine to anyone else’s lives because the content may only be relevant to me & my genealogy. Those topics aren’t really blog material but they need somewhere to go until they get printed so… here they are, scattered about on this site.
It became a bit of a mess with the intro of the 52 Stories Genealogy Project
I was inspired to & created this website before the 52 Stories but, when I began that project, the site was conveniently here for me to write the stories on & it’s a place where I can password protect the stuff that no one really wants to read. If they can’t get into it, it won’t be as tempting for them to waste their time on those pages, right?
“52 Stories” is a project anyone can do, not just genealogists. You are asked to answer 1 question per week with a short story. There are descendents who will want to read these stories, so tell them as though you are sitting around a campfire with them.
Meanwhile, I am on a quest to find Every Single Living Relative. I don’t think anyone’s ever done it & I think it’s gonna keep me busy awhile. I work on it almost every day. I chase people from the 1500’s to the 21st century. Why? How do I justify approaching strangers & questioning them about their ancestors? If I need to justify it, here is how: Some of their ancestors are MY ancestors too, and the living relatives can tell me stories about our ancestors that I wouldn’t know any other way. I didn’t grow up around my biological family, and somewhere in my mid 30’s I became interested in who they were/are. I woke up one day feeling like I had not given any heritage to my kids & suddenly had a problem with that. The moment I chose to leave home & never look back, I inadvertently chose to orphan my kids (that I didn’t know I’d have) along with me, in a sense. There was a part of me… no, all of me that felt like this leaf that had no idea what kind of tree it fell off of. Was it a nut tree? A fruit tree? An evergreen? One of those big Sequoias? Turns out it was a banana tree. This is my circus & these are my monkeys.
So, I am giving my kids back their family members, all of them both dead & alive. There is a reason I left home early, of course. The immediate family that I walked away from may have nothing to offer my kids (other than being living proof of how NOT to go about life) but there are many generations around & before them that have plenty to offer. I do not mean material offerings, obviously. We don’t need any body parts to be donated or housing or money. What we need are fantastic stories about our heritage, exciting tidbits of info that bring our ancestors back to life in our memories, knowledge of traits & talents they had/have. I am going to find as many living relatives as possible & I have no idea what I am going to do with them or how I am going to organize that info for my descendents, or what they will do with it. But, the info will be recovered & it’ll be available to any descendants who want it. Heritage is important, I know that NOW. And, in 100 years, those who are alive NOW are history in the making, they will be part of my heritage, part of the huge legacy our most distant grandparents started, & of which we are heirs to.
How Much Genealogy Can One Person Do?
Apparently, there is an infinite amount. At first, I just did genealogy research sporadically because I was too busy conquering the world most of the time & rarely had time for it. But then I had a medical leave lay me out for awhile, & I became obsessed with it because what else are you gonna do from your bed with just a tablet & a Tv? Video games, sure. I played some questing games, then I thought of this real life quest. Now that I am not stuck in bed anymore, I am back at the conquering of the world & working on my genealogy or other hobbies in between. During the day, I homeschool 2 of my 4 sons. While they do their assignments, I am right beside them on my own computer doing things I want or need to do. Then, when we’re all done with that, I go out and run my errands. At night, I can be seen out running with my dogs & watching TV shows, trying to catch up on all the ones I have found living relatives in. I figure it would be rude of me to never have seen their work when it was so easily accessible to me. I mean, if I ever meet them, I want to say, “Yup, loved your show!”
I have met some great people through genealogy, and my passion has branched out into many directions. There is more to genealogy than just finding dead people. My work for the Adopted &/or Donor Conceived is just one avenue I’ve taken towards giving back & sharing the fruits of my labor. Another might be geared towards genetic conditions. I am learning a bit about genetic genealogy here & there & it’s very interesting too. It all starts with your family tree, from there, the sky’s the limit.
Inspiration For The Blog
How it came about… for 3ish years I have been harassed by something unknown, telling me I need to write (this eventually happens to every writer). And, on purpose, I didn’t ask or inquire for any direction on what to write about because I didn’t want to write. I was in another phase of life and not in the mood. I think that finally, in spite of my stubbornness, the message for this blog was still delivered and this year, I know, is the year I have to write. I can’t wait to find out which relative died around that time & might be the one that’s after me about this. I know 3 things about this task that is begging to be carried out:
- The About The Writer section is for my descendants, but I don’t know which ones. I am assuming I will turn it into a print version just before I die, if I am given fair notice of death. It is inspired by a mesh of 52 Stories projects.
- The blog will answer hard questions in plain, everyday words instead of the fancy ones I like. This serves to help the descendant understand what ancestors were thinking that may have led to their decisions. There might be a controversial thing or 2 if it’s important enough to our society. I wish I had family journals from the Cowboy & Indian days. I would love to know what they were thinking.
- It will be known as, “Calling All Gods”. I didn’t know exactly why that was at first, but I went with it & told myself it was probably because we needed all the help we could get here on this Earth. Now, a couple years later, I understand how clever that name was & why it was appropriate on every level. I think it took lots of them to raise me, & if it is true that our ancestors look after us, the least I can do is tell their stories, after all the effort they must’ve put in watching me ’round the clock.
I do not yet know what all of the hard questions are for the blog, but I’ve noted some of the random questions that an unidentified voice has, in a sense, whispered in my ear when I was thinking about something totally unrelated. Not literally whispered. I mean, I don’t hear voices or anything. That’s not true. I do. Just teasing!
I am a genealogist and genealogists encourage people to keep journals. Not of your deepest darkest secrets, but of the events in your life & how they shaped you, even events in your environment. I need to practice what I preach & set an example. This site probably won’t be promoted anywhere, ever, but I have left it open to the public for the purpose of reminding me not to be too transparent. I am an oversharing person. I destroyed my discretion filter when I was a teenager, I think, because embarrassment wasn’t a thing I had time for, so I removed its power & my filter was a casualty. Nonetheless, if I don’t want the general public to know something in great detail, chances are I don’t want my descendants to either, so public it is. Still, it could get crazy up in here. I will password protect some stuff that might embarrass my kids (or give them mischievous ideas), if you want to read it, just ask & I will probably let you in.
If my descendants are nosy like me, they’ll want to know all they can about me and my generation of their bloodline. I am not super ready for deep talk about my life, but I open up about it more & more every day. I might even become excited about telling my storey as I go on about doing it. It’s been therapeutic.
I mentioned above that I am participating in the 52 Stories Project. That can all be found on this website but its location keeps moving so, you’ll have to find it. There are now a few versions of the 52 questions out there on the interwebs, you can choose any version you like or make up your own. I am doing a mashup of all the versions that I found. I didn’t like all of the questions in the one I first saw (because it had so many questions about my parents whom I don’t really know) so I searched the webs for replacements, then I pasted the mash up of questions on my page & will answer them as I have the nerve to answer them truthfully. I have some really funny stories I can tell about myself, which are currently being told by living people, over & over. At least if I tell a particular story, it goes on the record the way it really happened & with a perspective other tellers are missing. I can hear my grandkids cracking jokes about Granny T already, SMH. If I get tired of talking about myself, I will certainly throw in a rogue page or blog entry about what I think of someone else or something else. It’s bound to happen.
That’s basically it. Because I am a writer & I see an opportunity to elaborate, there’s a little more below but, it’s not important.
Something true to my nature is that I see answers as an invitation to more questions, so I bet you even when I think I’ve got it all figured out, I will still need more input. Think #5 from Short Circuit. If you don’t know who #5 is, get out of here right now and go watch the movie. He’s the best. Like me, he can’t get enough information. Feed me more. Feed me opposing facts and opinions. I want those. They make me live. Throw a wrench into my logic. I will enjoy it, especially if I decide that I am wrong after all. That doesn’t happen much, but when it does, I love it because it means I feel something new.
What good is it for us to know so much when so much that we know isn’t even so?
At the very least, everything deserves deeper thought. Even science, because facts are only facts until NEW EVIDENCE is presented which changes everything. For everything that’s right, there’s a perspective that can pull the rug right out from under it. If all my blog does is confirm to someone that it’s worthwhile to think in & outside the box, and dare to examine the world’s problems without sticking to a scripture, miscellaneous moral compass, or scientific journal word for word, that’s OK with me. There is more than one right answer to all of the questions because humans are a variable. The minute you apply scripture or (gasp) science to one human in the same exact way as another, you’ve screwed up (in my opinion). We are not a controlled experiment. We are humans & we are complex.
That said, too many people are missing too many important points that life is trying to make. My descendants are going to read about this time in history & shake their heads in disbelief about some of the problems we’ve created for ourselves as a society. I see people all the time on social media just not getting it which inspires me to give it to em. Why did God let Jesus die? Why do bad things happen to good people? What kind of God would unleash a devil upon his children? Why are innocent babies subject to suffering?
So many people have so many questions & I am over here like, “pick me, pick me, I know this answer”. So, there’s the blog… that I don’t know how often I will use & for what exact purposes.