In my family, I am the genealogy researcher; the keeper of various bits and pieces of history about who and when we were. It’s an interesting, frustrating, thoroughly annoying hobby.
Honestly – it’s a disease.
I got hooked when, 40-odd years ago, my mother gave me a letter that had been sent to her mother about the Storms family. From then to now, once I get working on the history files, I completely lose track of my place in time. Partly because when discovering that an ancestor came to America in 1700, I wonder what ship travel at that time would have been like. Terrible, it would have been terrible.
"...during the voyage there is on board these ships terrible misery, stench, fumes, horror, vomiting, many kinds of seasickness, fever, dysentery, headache, heat, constipation, boils, scurvy, cancer, mouth rot, and the like, all of which come from old and sharply-salted food and meat, also from very bad and foul water, so that many die miserably.”
I wonder now, how did my grandmother (born in Center Point, TX) meet my grandfather (born in Schuylkill, PA). Was a 4th great grandmother really captured by Indians in 1783 Virginia. What would it have been like for my 52 year old 3rd great grandmother to have traveled via flatboat and covered wagon from Kentucky to Texas in 1860. Where did one my 2nd great grandfathers come from prior to showing up in Texas in 1850. Aarrggghhh! This is the frustrating part. NOBODY WROTE ANYTHING DOWN AND PASSED THE INFORMATION ALONG. Honestly, I think that only happens in books anyway.
I have a painting of a second great grandfather but it appears nobody ever wrote down his name. After long research, I am leaning toward him being:
Johannas Karl Heinrich Baas
Zierolshofen, Baden, GR
Feldwebel in the Medlenburg Grenadiers
Personal Guard to the King
For the most part though, I have been able to find out a great deal. Most family lines immigrated to the America’s prior to 1750, some as early as the mid-1600’s. I do know we are 60% from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales; 20% France, Germany; 20% Sweden, Norway. There were British and Scottish
If I could go back in time I wouldn't like to meet some glorious historical figure, I’d like to have a conversation with some of my many great grandparents to find out what life was like for them really.