Editor’s note: A little while back, we looked for a newbie genealogist to be a blogger for us for six months. From the dozens of entries we received, we selected Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK, as our Family Tree Firsts blogger! This was the entry that secured her the gig:
I never fancied myself as a detective, no matter how many times I read and re-read Harriet the Spy or watched CSI. But that’s exactly how I feel now that I’ve become interested in genealogy.
For most of my life I have been a busy mom, too occupied with raising the next generation to think much about the previous ones. Now that I have an (almost) empty nest, these mysteries seem to have come knocking at my door insisting that I find their answers. I’m what you would call a genealogy “newbie.”
It started 6 months ago with The Case of the Missing Baby, my mother’s brother, who died in infancy. That case is still under investigation. Then there are The Mysterious Twins and the Spanish Flu, followed closely by The Case of the Missing Grandfather. And all that is in just the first few generations! What is awaiting me as I travel farther back in time? I can’t wait to find out!
The last 6 months have been a kind of hobby oxymoron. I have always enjoyed traditional crafts that employ the old technologies of knitting needles, spinning wheels and looms. Now with the addition of genealogy to the roster of my obsessions, I am getting to play with all kinds of new technology from the Internet to digital scrapbooking. (Photoshop and Google anyone?)
But when I think about it, whether I am spinning or scanning what I am really doing is bringing together the past and the present, preserving them both and sending them on into the future. I love the connections that genealogy creates…connections to family that I barely remember or never knew. Finding clues about the kind of lives that they lived, the kind of people they were. And it gives me hope that as I acknowledge their lives my own life, in turn, will be remembered. Not a bad way to spend one’s time.
Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK. Read all her posts at Family Tree University.