It boggles my mind how some people are not the least bit interested in their family tree. They don't care who their ancestors were. They are not even sure what the word "Genealogy" means.
And worst of all, many of these people are family members! How can they not care that their great grandmother struggled against poverty and hardship after arriving in N. America in the mid 1800s? That their McGinnis ancestors were in Ireland during the potato famine, and fled to Canada on a coffin ship at the famine's peak?
How can they not be interested in the stories of ancestors who fought in wars, fled from religious persecution, sailed across oceans to unknown lands, struggled in times of famine, or faced other difficulties trying to survive and provide for a family.
Our ancestors' blood runs in our veins. Their DNA is within us. I don't understand not wanting to know about them, and by so doing to discover more about ourselves.
In my own family are those who don't care at all. These family members won't even look at a photo of their 4th great grandmother in 1867. Wow! That is astounding to me! They don't want to know any names or facts before their grandparents. Their eyes glaze if you bring the subject of genealogy up in front of them.
There are also family members who care a little bit. If you tell them some fascinating tale of an ancestor, they listen. But it has to be fascinating! They don't want to hear about ordinary people - farmers, businessmen, housewifes and others who didn't do anything spectacular.
But all of our ancestors, the good, the bad, the exciting, the ordinary, are all part of what made us. That's okay too, at least I can drum up interest by only telling those exciting stories and who knows maybe one of those listening will catch a bit of a spark and start researching in the future.
Then there are family members who care but not enough to do any research themselves. I understand that. Research can be drudgery. It can be boring. It isn't easy. I'm happy doing the research as long as they care enough to hear about my results!
It can be frustrating to be passionate about our hobby of genealogy only to find we have no one with whom we can share our exciting finds. And that's where I'm lucky. My husband is almost as passionate about genealogy as I am. So he is genuinely happy for me and listens attentively when I drone on about a new find or a new lead I'm pursuing. As I do for him.
My children are interested. Some of my grandchildren are interested. I really can't complain. But it still boggles my mind to meet people (family members or otherwise) who turn up their noses.
A few years ago, a woman said to me "Well, but c'mon they aren't your relatives anymore if they're dead" Hmm.....really? I didn't know family relationships had an expiration date. Does that mean my father and mother are not my parents since both are deceased? When I posed that question to her she had no response.
And so my mind continues to be boggled. And probably always will be.