Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ancestors and Family Myths

My mother once told me that her g-g-g-grandmother came to America from Ireland when she was a young woman.  She said she had red hair and she was beautiful.  And single.  I have done some genealogy research and I can't find anyone who fits the description.  The family line I thought would be the place to look didn't work out.

Now I have these questions:  Did my mother make a mistake?  Is there another family line that I haven't found?  Does it really matter?

Single women are the most difficult to identify because their sir names are often lost when they marry.  This little tidbit of family history may forever remain a lost thought. 

The family I thought she would belong to came from Schotland, not Ireland.  Well, it's kinda close.  Maybe she was mistaken.  She would have had to come alone or as a single woman, and the ones I have found came to this country with a husband. 

Maybe there are women whose maiden names I have not located yet.  Did they come from Ireland?  Not that I have found. 

This seems like a puzzle that worries you for a while on a lazy afternoon, not something you would spend hours reading about.  And yet genealogy is the most popular hobby in the country.  It is a commanding hobby, but there is more to it than just something to do. 

I identify with these ancestors.  When I read or hear about our nations history or the history of the places where these ancestors immigrated from, I feel connected, I have a place in history.  I really want to know if my mother knew something I didn't know.  I want to share that piece of family history with her. 

I guess I'll have to keep looking.  Better yet, I have children and grandchildren I can share this information with.  And then I get caught up in the kind of homes they lived in and the farm or city they called home.  I want to know what kind of clothes they wore and the books they read.  They were real people and I love getting to know them and finding their dreams.  Did I measure up to their hopes for the future?

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