A few years ago I became interested in genealogy. I realized that it would not be much longer before family members were no longer around to provide information on our family’s roots. Actually, my dad’s family is already all gone, but years ago I was able to get a lot of details from my grandmother on that side of the family. We also sat and went through all of the old family photos she had and I noted who they were.
My parents divorced in 1970, but were separated for many years before that. I went to live my dad’s mother and she essentially raised me. My mother chose not to keep a relationship with me and so I called my grandmother mom. That’s how I felt about her. She was a wonderful woman, strong, independent and very loving. But I had very little information about my mother’s side of the family. Although we were not in touch, she is a part of me and I loved her.
I have just recently, within the last year, found the remaining members of my mother’s family through facebook. I was so happy to find them. Three cousins from my mother’s two brothers. I had not seen them since 1958. What a wonderful thing it is to find family you have missed for so long.
When I was in Pennsylvania this past October for my husband’s memorial, my cousin Joe brought my Aunt Anne with him to the memorial and I had a wonderful visit with them. We were able to get together the next day also and I was able to weed through some more family roots with her. I gained a good bit of information from her that day. But the most important thing I received was the love she has for me. Even though it had been almost sixty years since we have seen each other.
I have also been working on my husband’s side of the family. His mother is still alive and has been a great source of information for this journey. She has always kept a diary so she had events and dates written down. I was, however, able to surprise her with some information she didn’t know. I’m thankful for the relationship I have with her and the ability to share this journey with her.
Working on my family tree has been a very worthwhile experience for me. It is such an inexplicable feeling to begin to know where I came from. To begin to understand what it took for me to be where I am today so to speak. The struggles and sacrifices that my ancestors made to ensure each generation had it better than theirs. To tender the roots of my family tree.