I can't remember exactly what it was that sparked my interest in researching my family history. My earliest research memories are of the conversations that I had with my great-aunt Dorothy (my paternal grandfather's sister) when I was 11 or 12 years old. I remember asking all of the pertinent questions as I dutifully completed - by hand, no less - various pedigree charts and family data sheets. My work would often be delayed as Aunt Dorothy embarked upon one tangent or another, regaling me with stories of this relative who was a minor celebrity or that relative who established the first school in some such territory. As the years rolled by, my interest would wax and wane as new distractions came and went.
When I left home to serve in the military and start my own family, my genealogy work pretty much came to an end. Ultimately, my father took over the reigns and devoted much of his retirement to rooting out the facts of our heritage. He made remarkable progress, tracing both of his lines (as well as getting a good start on my mother's lines) to European shores and fleshing out in great detail the circumstances surrounding our ancestors' early times in America.
Time's cruel hand eventually held my father in its grasp, and he passed from this earth exactly one year ago today. A promise that I made to him during his last hours was to continue the genealogy work that he'd dedicated so many of his twilight years to. It's taken a year for me to be able to bring myself to crack those meticulously organized binders of his and carry on where he left off. As I re-embark on this journey, I'm starting this blog so that the stories of my ancestors can be told to as broad of an audience as possible - and hopefully, someday, lost branches of the family may once again be united.