Boneyards and Bonfires - Genealogy research
Halfway through another coma inducing week and I realized, I haven't blogged recently. Which partially explains the sludge pooling behind my retinas - nothing like a backed up brain to make a chick ornery.
And so here I am considering the complexities of life as I know it - wondering why higher consciousness is tauted as the next best thing to opposing digits? Wouldn't it be simpler if all my desires were to be scratched behind one furry ear and slid a bowl of kibble once daily - rather than this madness to BE something more than the sum parts of my ample parts prone to decay?
You see, I've had this pet project curdling in my cranium now for several years, but haven't expressed the whey from the solids due to inumerable issues like the concept of only 24 hours in a day and technology that leaves me seizing on the floor and retching into my shoes if it requires more than the simple "plug and play." On a whim I recently plugged in my scanner and viola...it surged to life without so much as one tiny error message...and the thoughts commenced to bubblin.
So I started down the rodent hole on a day trip called "Family Geneology" I thought it would be entertaining to fill out a family tree and amalgamate the multiple "family histories" I have in various stages of completion in drawers, and desks - and build something beautiful, perhaps for my spawn - all on line of course. So I joined a few "search" sites - mostly free ones but also Archives (which is very reasonable) and I set out on my epic discovery. (Besides, I need a diversion from my own wretched egofeeding TLBoehm fiasco) I dug out the Strand History circa 1970 something - the Hughes notes from a dear Auntie - and the dog earred collection of family data for the Pearce descendents - and proceded to set up a free site. Quite by accident I also found a beautifully written account of part of the Boehm Family. (I read parts of it and actually cried. it was impressive and eloquently penned) So I put up the parental units and started working backwards. And then I hit it - the proverbial wall constructed to deter grave robbers like me. Her name is Barb...she's my mom. It was a simple request, really. "Hey Mom, hows it goin' can ya tell me why Grandpa Lindquist s parent's aren't listed anywhere and who is the Southwell family and why is there a McNiel mother - with the Southwells, but Grandpa is an L and there's no parents for McNiel? OOPS....Apparently, Nellie Southwell, Grandpa's dear mother - maiden name McNiel and a brother produced Grandpa...and that's why mom was born with birth defects. and who am I to do harm to my mom by bringing this up? OK. The entire family is deceased - Grandpa, Grandma - mom's sister - all gone except for two adult cousins, Mom and me. WHO IS GOING TO CARE?
And so I called my mom again today - encouraging her that she has a story to tell about who she is, how she's overcome her "disabilities" to live this rich life....and no one else will tell her story if she doesn't. There's no one left. She tells me she will send dates and names of family. My mom is a creative type. She at times embellishes in areas where I beleive the simple truth is much more relevent. That being said, I know I will want to confirm the validity of her information.
Which brings me to this. I did find the Southwells on the 1930 census - so I know they existed. But here's the real rub - good, bad, whoremonger, or indifferent - I ache at the thought that a life has been reduced to a line of handwriting on a yellowed paper....what a waste. I want to know this woman who loved to lock her granddaughter in the outhouse, who shacked up with an amish blacksmith, who managed to garner a surname for a first son....there's a story there too....and I am a writer...right?
That's just one side of the family. I have pictures and anecdotal material to start on...once I get it fleshed out - I'll go to the families and see if they will share....and then open the thing up...Its actually fun...I'm addictive enough that I MUST reveal Nellie - she is my obsession of the moment.
Peace. If you're interested in geneology, I've stumbled upon some great sites. I may blog about it at some point....right now - its a break from traditional writing...