In addition to reading and stitching, I am active on Ancestry.com. My friend, Susan, really encouraged me to look into my family history. I have always found my heritage very interesting and the ability to research from home on Ancestry has been a real eye opener.
We have several family mysteries in my line and by researching I have found some answers. My great grandmother Tankersley died when I was just one year old so I have no memories of her. However, I did know that she was "farmed out" to an older lady after the death of a parent. I had no clue about her family except that her maiden name was England and she came from Tennessee. Thanks to DNA research, I now know that she was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and that the England family was a large one. My DNA matched with some of her descendants through her brothers so I have proof of this line. Oak Ridge really stood out to me as Marvin and I lived there when we were newlyweds. He was working on his PhD at Oak Ridge National Lab and I was a nurse at the Oak Ridge Methodist Hospital. I had no clue that I had a link to that part of Tennessee. I might have cared for some of my family at the hospital without a clue of who they were!
Another mystery was the identity of one of my great great grandfathers. All these people are long gone so I can tell their story (as I know it) without causing any embarrassment. One of my great grandfather's had his mother's maiden name as his surname. ( A funny story is that on his mother's tombstone it says she was a friend to all...apparently she was more than a friend to some!):) My great grandfather grew up to be a fine man in every way. He passed away when I was 13 so I have many memories of him. Papa shared a name of the man he thought to be his biological father. Well thanks to a DNA test that I took with Ancestry, I know that Papa was correct because I matched with some of this man's descendants who would be his great great great nieces and nephews. Papa's biological father died when Papa was one year old so I wonder if that kept a marriage from taking place. Times were very different back then just after the Civil War.
You might wonder why I would even care about such things because, well, those people are dead and gone. But I am the person I am today because of many lines of families who all had strengths and weaknesses. Just today I found a line in my family who were French Huguenots and were forced out of France to Ireland. They immigrated to America and are buried in a church yard in Maine. I like to think that I still have a bit of that genetic code that helped my ancestors to deal with the storms of life. It is a real encouragement to me in hard times.
Well I hope your eyes are not glazed over yet!!lol Some of my family members are not at all interested in their heritage but I guess I got a NOSY gene somewhere along the way and I want to know all about my family!