Wednesday, June 2, 2010

WARNING: Boring Post for Non-Relatives (and even some of THEM)

I am very interested in genealogy. But I find many genealogy buffs extremely tedious and have a horror that I'm tedious too. For so many of the enthusiasts it seems like a bizarre game of one upsmanship. Florence King (if you haven't read anything of hers, go and do so NOW - especially if you a Southerner) hilariously describes little old lady genealogists who take great pride in tracing their roots all the way back to Bonnie Prince Charlie and one redoubtable dame managed to go back all the way to Jesus Christ. I am not at all interested in whether I can trace my family back to Charlemagne, but I am fascinated by what my grandmother was doing 70 years ago or exactly where in Italy my antecedents were from. I wonder about the connectedness of all of us and would be delighted to discover that a new friend and I shared a common ancestor. King says that Southerners never care about who you ARE, but about who you WERE...meaning "Who do you come from?" and I admit to sharing that interest.

The Child got interested in genealogy awhile back and got involved in a website that helped with organization and research and came up with a lot of information and family trees for both sides of my family. What we've got is just some tantalizingly scant statistics - names, dates, places. What I would love is to have some fleshed out STORIES. Some of the information I KNOW is incorrect or incomplete - for instance, it says that my father's parents had one child, Daddy. But they had 3 including my uncle Tom and Daddy's twin, Charles L. But just reading the names and the places where they lived and were born is fascinating to me, though I have to admit when the tree starts really branching out my brain goes on overload and explodes a bit.

I think that what I'd like to do is to tell what I KNOW (or think I know) and add to it as I can. Start with one little branch and go from there. What I really want to collect is stories. I know some of the stories and will try not to repeat and if family members who visit would chime in with their own stories, I'd be so glad. I'll have to figure out that 'TAG' thing so that I can click "Family Stories" and have them all in one place.

So this will be an ongoing (and most likely a grinding-to-a-halt) topic. Feel free to comment anytime, though.


  1. YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! We said last April that we were gonna do that, and my blog blather was as far as we got. I'd love to hear stories---those White House Dance Cards in the chest, the wonderful diary of your teenage Grandmother (in Mississippi, no less---that one REALLY appeals to me) and all the other whos and whatsis of family lore. Especially the cooking---you have some kitchen magicians in your family, with YOU as the star.

    If I can tell about the whorehouse and the killin'---surely you can jump right in.

    I'm just gonna LOVE this!

    rachel, who loves it, but has to look up "genealogy" every time, just to spell it.

  2. Me too, on the genealogy thing. Thank Windows for spell check! I always spell it 'geneology' first.

    I think that this whole family series will be a LOT of jotting things down as they occur to me and earnest squinting at the reams of info that Jessica gleaned. I'm just hoping that when I get the facts wrong my family will chime in and correct me!