TLBoehm on Family Tree Circles
Journals and Posts
So today I'm off on another random thought regarding thankfulness, what it means to be an American and what benefits "progress" has brought us as a society. I've said before that my parental units weren't much for educating me on my gene pool and so I'm left to satisfy my curiosity via personal research. I know that one side of my family came from Cornwall England to Michigan in the 1800's to work in the copper mines. (another set homesteaded in the Dakotas and later, some did the whole wagon trail thing to Oregon) I've learned that these Cornish immigrants were more than likely miners in Cornwall as well. Its what they knew....It was difficult, dangerous, dirty work - nothing like sitting at a desk and lamenting over a spreadsheet, you know? These immigrants didn't have time to worry about stuff like "job satisfaction" -they worked to eat, to feed families of eight or twelve kids and pay for a home with only two bedrooms and no running water... - and often - they lost children and wives and mothers in childbirth. For my homesteading great grandmother in the Dakotas - the doctor was over an hour away by wagon and when her sister got her front teeth kicked out by an ornery heifer, Mom just put the teeth back in her jaw and gave her soft food for a few days. When another sister broke an arm, they set the bone right there on the farm...And some of my buds break a nail and have to call the specialist and slather themselves down with antibactierial gel. Know what? I'm incredibly fortunate to be who I am, where I am and what I am. I got nothin' to complain about. In fact, the mere fact that I CAN complain - is a tremendous gift.
So today, I am thankful that I have hot food in seconds, a doctor within ten minutes and a grocery store within walking distance. I'm stoked that I have plumbing and that I don't have to stare down my meal in the barn before I eat it. I'm thankful for technology that enables me to instantly talk with family across the planet. I'm blessed beyond comprehension.
Honestly, when I study what my family went through just a few generations back...it makes me ache inside. For all the stress and the crap and the road rage and the ornery teens and the year long audits, I will never face the difficulties my ancestors faced....I'm blown away by what they went through - just to be "Americans" just to have a chance to survive....
So I posted this blog about granpa Rollo recently and I decided to copy it to a free site I know of called Family Tree Circles. (free is always good) and wonder of wonders - I get a response from a gentleman who tells me that his wife is studying Rollo, but she doesn't have an account. (excuse me, does this smell like chloroform to you?) So I respond politely and I get an email from this wonderful lady living in Cheshire, England who has traced her family to ROLLO AND BEYOND. What I did not know and am now geeking out about is that Rollo was not only my grandpa - but he was a grandfather to William the Conquerer. (that's a genealogical checkmate right there) She was very sweet in her manner of telling me that my family descends from a "legitimate" relationships while hers branches down from an extramarital liaison. Imagine - my dad's ruffians "legitimate" - har har.
Anyway - I'm thinking that loads of peeps - if your peeps hollaback to the UK or Northern France are probably related to Wm simply because - if you can find recordkeeping going back that far - it means the family had the means to keep records.
Not to slur my ethncity or anything but sometimes I wonder about the average white folk and their dismissal of "culture and history" I think I would have paid better attention in history class if there had been a personal investment in it instead of the doggerel they forcefeed our young 'uns. Seems like a lot of my paler toned peeps are cultural transients who keep little to no knowledge of who they were in preference for who they wish to become. Not sure why that is. For me, knowing who I was makes who I is more valid.
I also don't get the whole search and destroy mindset. It is a perpetual sore spot that one half of my research on my husband's clan is thwarted by the simple fact that the powers that be decided to toast the churches and destroy records...so any researchers hitting that barrier in Prussia/Poland/Germany - thanks so much, Adolph. You were a peach. (watch it. Ten years from now I'll discover that I'm related to Adolph...)
Anyway, gotta love the interwebs. Connectivity is power and the next Adolph - won't be able to find ALL the ones and ohs...if we aren't crisped by a CME or popped off the planet by a rogue asteroid - somebody somewhere will retain the information....
A special thank you to Family Tree Circles for the William the Conqueror connection. What an awesome find!