Most of the genealogy books I’ve read so far—which is admittedly not very many—tell you to start with what you know. (Excuse me, but as the kids would say: Duh!) So here is what I know: I was born and raised in Oklahoma City with the usual two parents, both children of the Great Depression. My mom was from a small town in central Oklahoma and my dad from a small town in southwest Missouri. Mom’s parents were from Tennessee and came to Oklahoma in 1919 as newlyweds. I remember my maternal grandparents but they had both died by the time I was in my early teens.
Dad’s family also originated in Tennessee but left earlier, just after the Civil War, and ended up in Missouri. Dad’s history is a little more interesting in that he was born to an unwed teenage mother. No small scandal in 1928, I’m sure. He was adopted and raised by his maternal grandparents. He was always in contact with his mother, who lived in the same town, but never knew his biological father apart from his name. I grew up knowing my paternal grandmother and my paternal great-grandparents. (As a child I did notice the absence of a paternal grandfather, but this wasn’t explained to me until I was a young adult—although I had my suspicions.)
Mom passed away more than 20 years ago at age 57. Dad is 82 years old and looks and acts at least 20 years younger than that. He still lives in the house where I grew up. I have two younger sisters, twins, who rocked my world by being born unexpectedly the day after my third birthday. (Think years of triple birthday parties!)
I now live in rural northeastern Oklahoma with my husband, two dogs and five cats. I have four (mostly) grown children and two adorable grandsons. I work full time as a librarian, and in my somewhat elusive spare time, besides researching my family, I like to knit, scrapbook, listen to genealogy podcasts and read. I am currently seeking a 12-step program for my Bejeweled addiction.
Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK. Read all her posts at Family Tree University.