Memorable Genealogy Moment
Oh, how I wish I could remember clearly back to my youth, when my grandmother first got me interested in family history aka genealogy! I'm sure there were memorable incidents back then, I just cannot recall any of them all these decades later.
One incident that surely stood out (except in my faulty recollections) was learning that my great-grandfather Graham had been wounded at the Civil War Battle of Spotsylvania Court-House (12 May 1864), fighting under Gen. Robert E. Lee for the Lost Cause. Up till then I'd unquestioningly accepted the school classroom presentation that the War was all about slavery and nothing else, and thus I'd considered the Rebels to be evil. But my very ancestor was one of those Rebels! Time to re-think my attitude about the Confederacy and time to be more critical and investigative regarding history!
This leads to one of my earliest memorable findings, once I took up genealogy again (after decades of neglect) upon getting hired at the Tennessee State Library & Archives last year (A.D. 2011). And actually, an LDS cousin had primed this rebirth of interest by e-mailing me Graham family history info, including a photo of our great-grandpa in his Rebel uniform. Well, he sent plenty more e-mails (usually with genealogical attachments) once he found out I was back "on board"! And thru an e-mail attachment, some intensive on-line research and some help at TSLA I learned that my mother's great-grandfather also had fought as a Rebel. The family had lived in northwest Tennessee (Gibson Co.) back in those generations. It was thrilling to make this discovery that I had a Johnny Reb not only on my dad's side but also my mom's! (Later I found another great-grandpa of Mom's who likewise was a northwest Tennessean who fought for the South.) All this propelled me into seeking membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I now serve as chaplain of the SCV camp in Clarksville, Tenn.