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January 3, 2019

What or Who Inspired You to Start Your Genealogy

A few months ago I tweeted a brief genealogy question on Twitter on my Twitter feed ‏@LorineMS

Genealogy Peeps: what, or who, inspired you to start looking for your ancestors? I was 14, my father had just died, and I started my hunt because he always wondered about our Irish McGinnis heritage

I loved the responses I received, and with permission, and posting a few of them here. You can read all 27 responses by using the link to the genealogy question on Twitter 

Megan Smolenyak @megansmolenyak

I was about 10 - 6th grade homework assignment. Had to put our surnames on a world map, and I - slightly misinformed by my parents - had the whole of the then-Soviet Union to myself. Remember feeling sorry for all the kids crowded around the British Isles. Sparked my curiosity

Genealogy Jenn @Genealogy_Jenn

Learning that my future father-in-law was orphaned by 8 years old and didn't know much about his family. My interest was renewed when my father died when I was 27 years old.

Annette Fulford @avidgenie

My aunt. She did a short history of our family in 1989 but had little details about the family past her father. Also included with the history was my grandmother's war bride letter written in 1919. I was fascinated and still am. (can use her full name)

Kevin Huigens @Kevinho57

In my 30s, I started entering the info my mom had gathered into PAF and my curiosity got the better of me.

Annie @abearella

Before my dad died when I was 10, we went to my grandma's (his mom) almost every weekend. Her sister, my great Aunt Cora, would often drive up from Palm Springs. She always told family stories & sent me old pics in the mail.

Ruth Blair @PassionateGenea

I was 11 and it was a school project. My parents are the immigrants so it was a lot letter writing and then waiting for the return post. My parents didn’t know much but they knew who I should contact.

Yvette Hoitink @yhoitink

I was 15, my grandpa had just died, when I heard a rumor that he might have had a twin. Freaked me out so I took the train across the country to the archives to find out the truth. He turned out to be my first family scandal, hooked ever since.

Kapalm @kapalm728

I wish I had a profound answer, In reality, I was recovering from surgery and was bored. I always loved history and puzzles so I gave genealogy a try. I was hooked when I discovered the vastness of the never talked about paternal grandfathers family

Sean Vanderfluit @Vanderfluit

I can't recall a signature moment, I've been interested since I was 10. I even got this awesome book on genealogy for kids at the time. A pity it's likely long out of print, I'd love to get it for my 7-year-old who now expresses an interest in genealogy.

In grade 8, I discovered my grandma and great grandma knew German. I thought they were British. Why on Earth did they speak German? My mom said, "because Great Grandma was born in Russia". You're not helping, mom. Then again, it did, as it stoked my curiousity.

Sean Vanderfluit added: I was pretty sure I still had this, and found it today. My first genealogy book, from when I was 10. I significantly updated it when I was 12.

Lorine's Note: I found this book for sale and purchased it. Then I sent it to Sean V. to give to his son. 

Mining the Past @Mining the Past

I was always fascinated by the story that my gg-grandfather ran away to sea and gave a false name and age, so everybody with that name is related to me in some way. I love puzzles and have tried for many years to track him down. Now looking at DNA :-)

It's not too late for my blog readers to jump in with your responses on Twitter if you have a Twitter account. Just click on this link to the genealogy question and send your comment.


KTC said...

My love for genealogy began when I was a small child sitting at the feet of Leona Lucinda (Thomas) Taylor (my great-grandmother), Thelma (Marriner) Darby (my great-grandaunt), and Roy E. Semler (my great-granduncle) as they shared family history.

Judith Ross said...

I think that genealogy runs in my family although I am the only one to do it formally. I am the oldest daughter of an oldest daughter. Her mother was not the oldest but did raise the younger children when her mother died. My mother kept all of the information in her head, I think. My grandmother wrote down every illness, spelling bee, places where her sons were stationed in WWII, etc., in a tiny notebook. Her father used blank pages in an almanac to write a brief summary of birth and death dates, immigration, and improvements on the homestead.

Janet Smith said...

My father had just new husband worked on his family tree in a DOS program so for Christmas i bought him Family Tree maker. He asked me to load in on his computer and we figured out how to upload his tree. I decided to enter just the people I knew in my family and twenty four years later, I am still enter people....that i now know belong to my family. My husband has long since given up the search but I keep at it...and along the way found that you too are apart of my tree. Hope you are doing well!