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You Got To Love Geneology

Updated on October 9, 2017

What is in a Family Name?

If you want something fun to do, then go and check your family tree out. Sometimes you find out things that you did not know, and sometimes you learn a little bit about history. In fact, that is kind of an understatement. I am a southerner and I found out my family came over from Europe and that in itself was not anything I did not expect. Then there are things I learned when I actually tried to search for records. My quest took me to Virginia where most of the beginnings of my ancestry may have started. I found out that all the records had been burned three times and so to prove my heritage might not be too easy to do. I even sought a living family member with the name that I was looking for, and he consented to do the DNA testing. I thought that was going to absolutely prove everything. I knew he and I were related, but come to find out that did nothing, but the test said that he was a member of one of possibly twelve different families all having the same last name that came from England. That made my day, but I was back to square #1 on my journey. This whole search for your family can be quite interesting. I found out on the census that some of my family did not read or write, and I wondered how they spelled their names. Some of the families names changed over time. Maybe that tells us something. I remember watching a video in college about the people who came to America by the way of New York as immigrants to the new land. That was in the early 1900s, and they had to deal with others changing the spelling through the immigration process.

Seriously over the past year that I have searched two of my families names, then I learned that I am more confused now than before. I appreciate the work people have done in researching family members and relating families, but there are some real errors out there in a lot of things. That furthers the confusion about looking up your family members. There are many who are listed as this one married an Anna, but no one knows who Anna's family was. Well, in those days record keeping came down to wills and property titles, as well as registries of soldiers and the good old census. Many kept Bibles to list the family. The Bibles told who was related to who, and if you were lucky enough to find one, or it was archived for you, then it was much easier to pick up information. Good luck to all of you on the journey, but I would recommend you get to know your oldest living relatives, because when they have passed on, then so goes the heritage with them. I am also finding a lot of my relatives in unmarked graves. No proof of even where they were buried. I have gained a lot of information but have many unanswered questions. I keep researching in case someday someone will open the key to the research that I need. All and all, this is a lot of fun and frustration too. However, I have gained more in historical knowledge than I ever was taught in a classroom about the history and the early origins of our families and country.

I learned some really unusual things which involved grave robbing, and removal of the illegal dumping of headstones in order to plow a field. How could anyone desecrate the ones that were my family? The blessing was to meet a family member that was 91 years old that found the stones and at least placed them near another family member. They did not know any place else to put them, because like I said the family members were desecrated and now their bodies are lost to their family on a piece of property in a southern county in Georgia. I also found out that possibly some of my family goes back to a different type of grave robbing. A lady was buried, and she had a health issue in which her heart had stopped, but she was buried and grave robbers attempted to unearth her body, and in the process, they cut off her ring finger to steal her ring. She came back to life and scared the grave robbers away. She had a baby a year later, and then she died for real. In those days, they were not embalming bodies and placing formaldehyde in them. Once you were embalmed, then you could not come back alive. That happened about four to five generations back in the family that I related to the guy that had gotten a DNA test for our family heritage. Sounds like Halloween coming on, or the "Walking Dead" came to my own family. How weird can that be? Let us say that studying up on Geneology takes you to new information and experiences in life. Those things are not talked about in a history class in public school or in college either. I found this all out by going to a heritage center and looking at the books and information in computers, and it did wonders for my research. I was able to look at census records, and I also was able to get certified copies of these records at the heritage center.

I would like to say that everything in research does not make you happy, but you learn so much respect for family members, and sometimes we learn why we have lost respect for others. What was happening in those days? It is well worth the digging up facts and research for the historical background that leads up to your own life. You can also share this with children and grandchildren as well as your own family. The only disappointment I really had in research had to do with war and files being burned and lost forever.


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