My mom has done a good bit of genealogical research over the past several years, but I wasn’t really interested in it until now. By taking this class, I think I am already beginning to understand why people are so interested in their ancestries. Being a very analytical person, I guess I expected it to be fairly straightforward to complete a large and accurate family tree using the many records found on websites like ancestry.com. However, as I read the first chapters of Who Do You Think You Are? and actually began to construct my family tree, I soon found out that it’s not that simple. Even information as basic as birth dates and death dates tend to vary between records and I initially didn’t want to put anything on someone unless all their records agreed with each other. While I am still not very good at this sort of thing, I have made some progress in my tree and have gone back several generations.
So far, I have been unable to find an ancestor from another country, although I think I’m fairly close to finding a German immigrant ancestor that I remember my mom talking about. It seems that almost every one of my ancestors was born and lived in Georgia, with several from South Carolina and a few from Florida. I have all my great-great-grandparents’ names and dates with some help from my mom, but I’m trying to find further ancestors and information on my own. I’ve gotten as far as a few of my 5th-great-grandparents, but I realize now that I need to include many more ancestors’ siblings as well as finding more events in their lives, which will probably help me find out more about their lives and families. I tend to focus on finding the next pair of parents and their important dates and places, but there is much more to people than these most basic facts of their existence.