We’re into May already and Saturday has rolled around once again. Randy Seaver has issued a fun Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge this week:
1) What Excites You About Genealogy Research? What part of performing genealogy and family history research really excites you – what keeps you coming back day after day?
Like Randy, it is definitely the thrill of the hunt. Back when I was a newbie researcher, 40+ years ago, the excitement of identifying the leaves on the family tree got me hooked.
I wasn’t ever really “just” a name collector. Although I definitely wanted to put names to the generations who came before me, I wanted to know their stories, too.
I visited with all the senior members of my extended family, asking questions about the family, both in America and in (at the time) Czechoslovakia.
As the years passed and I became more experienced, the thrill became the knowledge that I had cracked through a brick wall.
I’m proud of some of the discoveries I’ve made.
One of my earliest successes was finding the family of Loyalist John Adams from Fairfield County, New York. Extended family members had researched John the Loyalist for years. From Canadian records, we knew he was from Connecticut.
However, no one in the family dug deeply enough before me. Family lore had come down through time that Sturges Adams, son of Loyalist John, had been named for his maternal grandmother. Sturges was the older brother of my 4X great grandfather, Thomas Adams.
Donald Lines Jacobus published Families of Old Fairfield back in 1930. That book knocked down the brick wall, as the Adams clan was covered back to immigrant Edward Adams in Milford, Connecticut in the mid-1600s.
Loyalist John Adams, born c1740, married Sarah Coley on 31 August 1765 in Fairfield County. Sarah was the daughter of Jonathan Coley and . . . . . Lucy STURGES.
More recently, I was able to trace the children of two more Loyalists, Robert and Catherine (MNU) Carlisle. (I’m still at an impasse in uncovering Catherine’s maiden name.)
Little was known about several of the sons, but they migrated to Ontario from New Brunswick along with their children.
On my husband’s side of the family, I was the first to identify the ancestral origins of his 5X great grandfather, Johannes Whitmer, born in Barbelroth, Germany on 24 June 1751.
Using Danish records, I proved the parentage of my 3X great grandfather, Johannes Jensen, born out of wedlock and given up for adoption in 1810
My most recent brick wall smashing came when I found a moving out certificated in Genarp, Sweden that provided the maiden name of my 5X great grandmother, Anna Stina, now known to be a Berggren.
Today, the thrill of the hunt most definitely relates to discovering new, previously unknown to most details about the lives of my ancestors.
It’s kept me busy since 1979 and I don’t see myself ever becoming bored. I am 1000% hooked on family history.