If you’ve ever thought about researching your ancestry, DO IT!  

If you have not thought about researching your ancestry, DO IT!

A few years ago, I thought I’d search for a few names at to see what I’d find.  I really wasn’t expecting much as I have, or so I thought, a small family.  Both my parents are only children so I have no aunts, uncles, or first cousins.  My father’s mother was an only child, his father was one of two.  My mother’s mother was one of two, but her father was one of 8 or so.  I had met just one cousin of my mother’s but that was it.  I just wasn’t expecting to find anything.

Was I ever so wrong!

I discovered that my grandfather [my father’s father that was one of two] had 35 first cousins.  Yes, thirty-five first cousins.  So that gave my great-great-grandparents 37 grandchildren.  My g-g-grandmother Lena was alive for all their births.  Actually, there were a total of 43 grandchildren for her, but I’ve discovered 6 that didn’t make it past their 2nd birthday for one reason or another.  Who knew!?!

Lena’s parents came to the United States when they were just 22 and not yet married.  Three-and-a-half months after their arrival they were married in Wisconsin.  Five months after the wedding, Lena was born.   Yeah, do the math.  If you do, that means she was conceived while her parents were sailing the ocean blue for the new country, the land of opportunity.  I thought those passenger ships were too crowded for anyone to have any privacy.  Who knew!?!

One of those 35 cousins of my grandfather’s, at the age of 17, married the local country doctor/abortionist in 1910 in a rural farming community.  That country doctor/abortionist was about 55 years her senior AND a former slave who had escaped from his master near the tail end of the Civil War, fled to Tennessee and fought in the Union Army.  Who knew?!?

My father’s mother’s line, from England, apparently have been in Connecticut since 1653.  One ancestor fought in the Revolutionary War.  His grandson fought in the War of 1812.  That soldier’s son fought in the Civil War in the Union Army representing Connecticut.  Who knew!?!

While the research over the past few years has been tedious, it has also been the most rewarding, fulfilling and emotional experience of my life.  I’m so very glad I started looking into where I came from.

I can’t wait to see what else I can find.

So, do yourself a wonderful favor and start researching.  You just might find something truly amazing.


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