My Family History Quest – the story so far
I’m starting this blog to keep share and keep track of my family history quest – the stories, the frustrations, the successes and the analysis. I probably won’t update daily. After all Family History is not an instant gratification pursuit. As a Certified Genealogist, sm, I’m supposed to recognize that nothing is instant and everything must be subjected to rigorous testing and proof. But I must admit that sometimes it is hard. Sometimes, I want to just grab the first available name that seems to fit and go on from there. Still, so far I have resisted the temptation. I’ve been a genealogist for nearly 20 years. And a Family Historian for about 8 years. The difference? Well in my mind, a genealogist is interested in a pedigree – a chain of ancestors stretching as far back in time as possible – and a family historian is interested in the entire family, their history, the whys and wherefores and whowiths that make up the complete story of a family. Frankly being a family historian is more difficult and more interesting. As a genealogist I might never have learned about my possibly bigamous great great uncle, or the totally inept bank robbing relative or the ancestor whose children and whose brother’s children were delivered by the well known (I’m tempted to say famous but fame is relative like all things) midwife Martha Ballard of Augusta Maine. And I never would have learned that my great great grandmother had 3 half brother who lived very complicated lives.
When people ask me why I’m a family historian/genealogist I reply, “The human race is a relay not a sprint! and I want to know who passed me the baton.”