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Ancestry (dot) Mom: Part 1

As far back as I can remember, my mom has always been a genealogy junkie.... maybe "enthusiast" is a prettier word! I don't know how it started for her, but I can remember her filling in family trees with vital stats on each member and posting them on the wall. I remember her spending hours on the computer as if she was trying to crack a mystery. I'll also note that the lady knows her stuff; she can spout off details and names that any normal person should have forgotten!

I'm not sure when I transitioned from sitting quietly as she chattered about our dead relatives to not being able to get enough of it. But it did happen, and soon after I started on my first genealogical dig. 

It was the summer of 2005. I was 21 years old, Johnny Depp was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,  and my brother and I were working all summer long as awesome camp counselors. I sat in front of a computer with a pen and paper, ready to take notes on whatever family info I could find.

For the sake of the story it might make sense to know that there was a chunk of time where I wasn't in contact with my genealogy junkie mother. My first ancestry hunt took place during this time. If I had been, I don't know if my search would have been so important to me or if I would have been indifferent - knowing that I could just always get the info from mom at anytime. 

Anyway, there I was. I had a mental list of info that I knew. And I was ready to go!

GOOGLE: ________________________

Shoot! What do I look up?!

I stared at the screen for half a minute. I decided to look up my mom's side of the family. They seemed to be a little more clouded in mystery.... murder.... mayhem.   

HAH! No. Not even close.  

It just seemed like there was a huge gap in some areas and I wanted to find something tangible. So Google was still staring at me. I decided that I was just going to wing it and see where I got.  

I should be able to do this by instinct alone, I am after all, my mother's child. I might have been a bit full of myslef. 

After a few minutes of typing whatever I could remember into the search engine, I found my first piece of gold! I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped. Google had found a message board from a few years earlier with several familiar names on it. I was so excited. As I read it, it all seemed to line up with names and facts that I knew.I then saw my golden ticket confirming that I was on the right path, it was my mom's username next to the message I was reading.  I think, in that moment, I knew that I could confidently begin researching my family tree.

I was hooked after that! I made a list of everything I ever wanted to know, I made another list of every fact that I could remember. On another sheet of paper I started to fill out my family tree. I decided that there would be no stopping me! (Lol, please insert a hearty laugh as I mention that this was all before I had real life responsibilities like a husband, child, or rent!)  

I have been on this quest ever since that day. I began to learn how to navigate the internet and use different databases to find what I needed to. I found a lot of free and creative ways to fill in my gaps, and I also found some awesome and pricey methods as well.

In the upcoming posts, I plan to share some of my favorite tricks and resources. Maybe it will be of some help to you in your search, or even fuel your curiosity.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week. We're to the halfway point!

Melly

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