Talking with a neighbor the other day at the pool I somehow got on the subject of my half-brother who was given up as an infant for adoption. I think the “ladies who swim” were discussing family and the conversation evolved from there to include that I didn’t know my father or his family because he’d left around the time I was born. She suggested I get on ancestry.com, and related that she’d had a lot of success tracing her family there.
Had I known the outcome I may not have … no, wait – that’s a lie. If I had known I’d have jumped in long ago! Researching genealogy is addictive y’all. The second day I was on the site I’d given up on my dad for the moment and searched for family members I knew more about. Almost 2 hours later I realized it was time to go home. It’s insidious as it sucks you in deeper and deeper!
I found my grandma plus her mother and father and brother Philip (who I remember from when I was very young as a funny, plump bald man that I liked). There were photos (duplicates of ones I already had) and birth and death records. In addition, they were included on other family trees at the site, one of which I believed to be my cousin’s. I knew C had worked on a family tree at ancestry.com so I presumed because the entries were all about our family that it would be her tree (the owner didn’t use their real name) and I contacted her through the site since I hadn’t received a response to an email I’d sent her a few days before.
It was not my cousin, but my former sister-in-law, who had added those members when my daughters went to her for research help because she was so experienced. Can you say AWKWARD boys and girls? Was I ever surprised! Since she’s been doing genealogy research for 40+ years she knows her stuff and she graciously helped me track down my father with only his name, age and state of birth! I now know about multiple relatives on my father’s side! Grandparents, grand aunts and uncles, great grandparents. There may even be an aunt and an uncle still living. I even think I resemble one of the aunts a bit. In addition, she steered me to a free research site that is sponsored (I think) by the Mormon church. Since my father’s family came from Utah that seemed like a good resource; I’ll be checking it out one of these days.
Now I’m researching JD’s biological father, who left when JD was less than a year old. Plus we’re looking up his step-dad, who married his mom and adopted JD and his two older siblings. JD knows a lot of that family’s anecdotal history but it’s very cool to see it documented. They immigrated from Russia and it’s fascinating to follow the progression.
I only have nine more days left of my trial membership so I will be researching every free moment. My SIL says after I cancel the membership I can still view the trees but I won’t be able to search on my own. She’s promised to send me any more information she finds.
And now I must close this and log back on. Who knows what other lovely tidbits are waiting for me!