That great family letter from 1966

I like genealogy. I have put together a widely branched family tree, the result of pouring through thousands upon thousands of old records, making many visits to cemeteries and genealogy centers, and writing/talking to many relatives, near and far (both in terms of proximity and relation). Well, I didn't do all the work: Some of my forebears lived long lives, stayed on the same farm for 200 years, and did a great job of passing along family information from generation to generation.

In 1966, my Dad’s father received a letter from his sister, outlining the names and birth/death years of this line of the family, which was traced back into the late 1600s. In about 4th grade, I remember having to create a family tree for school, and being happy that my parents could help me make a tree that went as far back as my great grandparents. We learned of this letter a short time after I completed my project, but we were still happy to add its information to the tree. When most people trace their ancestry, they work back in time, from their parents, to their grandparents, to their great grandparents, etc. I had a super head start in my efforts.

When ancestry web sites started popping up 20 years later, it excited me to receive hits for queries on names in that letter, names that went back 9 generations. Imagine again my excitement when seeing message boards from folks looking into the same forebears—cousins! My family tree now stands at about 75 direct ascendants. I have learned more about my family’s origins than I ever expected, tracing about 25 of them “back to the boat”. I've started writing a family history that I will share with family. There’s plenty that I hope to share here as well.

Yes, I like genealogy.

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