search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts

Archives

Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,642 other followers

likeable-blog-1337-1x.png

Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

Ancestry dot com and time travel

Or perhaps this should be titled “Time Sink.” I didn’t need another hobby, another distraction, regardless how noble. When a friend showed me ancestry.com and plugged in a few names to get my tree started, I knew this could become a serious condition. Suddenly, faded photos that decorate my bathroom walls were appearing. How did they get there? An article my mother had written about my great-grandfather’s whaling adventure popped up. I was seeing ghosts in a blank landscape.

I signed up for the two-week trial and have limited myself to one hour in the morning to poke and snoop and add to the growing tree. I’m only following my mother’s side, to start. My dad’s tree has been well researched from many angles; I can fill in the details there, handily. But my mom’s side seemed so fragile and shallow. She was the only child of two only children.

Why do humans have a fascination with generations long gone? Mine was brought to light by the invoice for “perpetual care” of the family gravesite. I am impressed with the ability of ancestry.com  to track down and help you plug in the unknown facets of your forefathers (and foremothers ?) lives and deaths. My excuse for the time sink was to build something I could print out for Hanni and Lex in the event they ever have any interest.

So while soaking in the tub the other night, I looked up from my book and really studied the photo in the peeling frame.

Scan 32

Even if you didn’t know these kids, they represent the quintessential 1960’s youth. The boy is obviously the oldest. We were posed by my Uncle John, the first person I ever knew to own a good camera and a dark room. Note the boy’s mode of dress, the placement of his hands. The girl to his right is me. I adored him. He was my mirror to the world of who I was. He was the closest person in my universe to my age and yet he was so wise. I imitated everything he did; how he dressed (button up that top button), how he posed for the photo (a cool display of casual fingers in on the knees), and wore pants just like he did.

The girl to my right is my sister. Zanne was the baby. I had no experience with someone younger than myself; I had been a baby, but that didn’t count. Duncan had suffered through, continued to suffer through, my infancy and adoration of him. He wanted nothing more, as the first-born, than to go back to being the center of the universe. Barring that, he would have preferred to be alone as opposed to being saddled with me.

I don’t know how it was for Zanne to have two ahead of you, paving the way or at the least hacking a path through the forest, of how to train our parents to be parents. From what we have discussed to date, it was  an intricate twist on how I saw life growing up.  A different reality as is to be expected with birth order.

The child to the right of Zanne is our cousin. Her dad was the photographer.  On the reverse side of the print, in pencil written in Uncle John’s neat script are the notations: Newbury 1962

Duncan    Martha Ann  Susan   Mary Elizabeth

If Mary Elizabeth knocked on my door today, I would hope that some family resemblance would alert me to who she is. I have not seen her in over 50 years. I have no idea who she is, who she became, or what her life is like. On the other hand, I trust in life’s quirky ways to bring us together if the occasion arrises and there is a lesson to be learned.

So, as to Ancestry.com? I could sink a lot of my waking hours and not regret the time spent. On the other hand, I can wait for life to hand me the connections I need, when I need them.

9 comments on “Ancestry dot com and time travel

  1. Touring NH says:

    I have tried it also and learned quite a bit about my family history. I never continued after the free trial but it was neat.

    1. I doubt I will continue beyond the free trial but I would like to be able to save what I have so far. Amazing the connections and history you can find!

  2. Chris F says:

    Martha, you CAN download the docs you find and create a free tree from Family Search. They have forms you can download. That way your trial isn’t for naught. The data is interesting, but when you start to piece together stories- that’s the payoff. (plus connections with “lost” relatives)

    1. And, if not for you my dear friend, I wouldn’t have this little addiction now would I?? Smiley face because I don’t know how to make one happen. Chris, I do thank you for the spark. I am just slow off the mark with somethings.

  3. mariekeates says:

    I must admit to some curiosity but my family history is a tortured twisted animal and I’m afraid I might find out more than I bargained for. There are enough skeletons I know about without finding more.

    1. Ah, yes. I have come across that stray “bone” I look askance at and think, “do you really want to know?” Those are currently dead ends on my tree.

  4. I spent about 5 years researching my father’s side and made it back to 1550 England, where my ancestor was a London Haberdasher. It was fun but also a lot of work.

    1. It is fun and the deeper you delve the more work it becomes to think in terms of connections that pop up. Coincidences abound as I dig through the layers. Do you like hats? I am looking for the ancient connection I seem to have with hats and head-gear.

      1. My father always wore a hat but he was bald. They make me crazy, but I do wear them when it’s cold.

Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Gringa of the Barrio

A Sassy Barrio Gringa Telling It Like It Is

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson

~ WRITER, REBEL, RACONTEUR ~ AND MOST OF THE TIME A MIDDLE-AGED DESK JOCKEY

Oh, the Places We See . . .

Honey, grab the GPS.

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

The Next Phase Blog

Social commentary and opinions: No guns, politics, or religion.

Breaking New Ground in Zone 6

The adventures of Southern gardeners starting over in New England

Marsha's Bungalow

the WW2 era chicken coop

iwalkalone.co.uk

the world one step at a time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order.

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

Formaggio Kitchen

Artisan cheese, charcuterie and specialty food.

Not Another Tall Blog

Not just another tall blog. Because being tall is NOT all we talk about! Follow me for tall talents, tall fashion, rock interviews and more!

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling

cheryl62blog

Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.

GARDEN OF EADY

Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. - https://twitter.com/Grey_Enigma

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations.

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Nicholas Andriani

Adventure Travel and Gastronomy, Passionately Explored

AM Simpson

Loves Final Kiss

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude

hoosiersunshine13

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. -Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

theflexifoodie.wordpress.com/

Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!

Sharon Rawlette

Memoirist. Essayist. Philosopher.

Diane Tibert

~ writer - editor - publisher ~

Amintiri din Bucătărie

Memories from the Kitchen

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East

JOSELYN'S BRAWL

Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List

Stephanie Raffelock

A good story can transform the way that you see the world.