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Genealogy Research and Finding Your Family History

Updated on March 7, 2014
Carmi, Illinois in 1875
Carmi, Illinois in 1875 | Source

Inspired by the events of 9/11; Where do I Really Come From?

On September 11, 2001, our nation, our world changed forever. Many of us believe that these are the beginning of the end days. I suspect this may be true. However, even those who don’t agree have been forced to look at themselves and determine what kind of American they really are, and what kind of person they really are.

Because of the sacrifices made by those who suffered, I have become curious about where I really came from, and what to tell my children, or grand children when they ask questions about their heritage. I also wanted to make sure that our family history was officially documented somewhere, to honor them as human beings, and leave a memory or story of their contributions to the world for their offspring. Another realization caused by the events of 9/11 is to encourage others to join me in my growing appreciation for every soldier, public servant, and emergency respondent. My research has shown confirmation of my belief of how precious each and every life really is.

The American Wars, Native American Heritage, and World History are among the many interesting subjects from which I have obtained an enormous amount of knowledge. Throughout my research, I’ve come across some very interesting names, habits, and legends.

If You Are American, Start Here!

How beautiful!  This picture was taken about 1900.  I love the clothes and the hair.  This woman is my great grandmother.
How beautiful! This picture was taken about 1900. I love the clothes and the hair. This woman is my great grandmother. | Source

“Remember me in the Family Tree,

my name, my days, my strife;

Then I’ll ride upon my the wings of time,

and live an endless life.”


Family History Discoveries

At first, I was extremely doubtful that I would find anything on our family. When I started to retrieve information, I realized that this is real research about real people, and there is a wealth of information to be found. I then began asking for help. My eldest cousin has provided information, confirmed and unconfirmed. This information was exactly what I needed to start on my quest to bring the past to the present. It is the information provided by living family members that has enabled me to confirm much more.

All of my findings were exciting; however, a few of my findings were disappointing. I found that many of our ancestors owned slaves, which doesn’t make me happy. However, I choose to believe that they considered their slave(s) as family, and treated them well. I believe this because of the information obtained in the wills they wrote before death, and family pictures that included slaves. I have also found relationships to historically known people, which is very exciting.

I also found that by saying our family was from Missouri, I wasn’t telling the whole truth. My parents, and their parents were born in Missouri, however there are many other states in which our ancestors lived. Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are a few other states that produced the family from which we came. I was also told that my ethnic background was German, Croatian, English, Irish, and Cherokee Indian. This, I found, to be primarily true. When you read the stories you find about your ancestors, it will be interesting to notice the different family traits that have been passed along through the generations.

Here is my family photo tree.  I adore it!
Here is my family photo tree. I adore it! | Source
This photo was taken in the mid 1800s.  These people are my great-great grandparents!
This photo was taken in the mid 1800s. These people are my great-great grandparents! | Source
The family homestead.  Imagine all the memories this home holds.
The family homestead. Imagine all the memories this home holds. | Source

Each of us born on this Earth has an impact on others. Each of us is special to God, unique and independent. Whether good or bad, it is important to remember the differences that other people have made. We learn from history. We learn from each other. We learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes made by others.

Thank you so much for your interest in my work. I certainly hope the read was helpful and encouraging. Please feel free to leave a suggestion, comment, or constructive criticism in the comments section below. Your feedback is always welcomed and appreciated.

"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen

God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan

Oh what joy to add a new baby to the family!
Oh what joy to add a new baby to the family! | Source

Let's Get Started!


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