Sunday, October 17, 2010

Genealogy anybody?

One of my daughters is fervently involved in recreating our family ancestry. I've often wondered about certain members of my family but I always put off researching the subject. Now, though, I can see why she might be concerned.
Lecia is almost forty and starting to have some health issues. She's asked a lot of questions which I always try to answer as completely as possible. She is not willing to take enough for enough and has instituted a search into the past. It turns out, my maternal grandfather was cursed with atrial fibrilation and it was a contributing factor to his death at age sixty-six. That woke me up. You see, I've been troubled with the same heart condition for at least a decade. My father had the malady but it didn't contribute to his death. An accident during abdominal surgery caused the cancer in his bladder to spread rapidly.
So I've got this crazy jazz-like rhythm going on in my heart because of genetics. And all this time, I thought it stemmed from my love of the music I played for years. My answer is much more poetic, don't you think? But no, I got it coming and going; both sides of the family. We also share a blood idiiosyncrasy known as 'factor five'.
That explains in part why at least two of my daughters have had health issues related to that wayward factor. And why I should give a darn about genealogy. Turns out, it's fascinating. When I go online to research members of my family, I usually spend at least an hour and often more.
I've seen the death certificates of a number of ancestors; a bit chilling but also instructive to know that they could write and spell a century or two before I landed on the planet.
How many of you have developed your family tree? Any notable citizens turn out to be related to you? Any infamous ones?
Lots of questions here, and just maybe fodder for new storylines. Just what a writer needs, especially a fiction writer. As we all know, fiction is truer than fact in most cases. Well, we do, don't we?
TMWYT (tell me what you think)
Pat Dale


  1. Someday, I plan on researching my family tree. Actually, I want to set myself an impossible task. My (dead) grandfather never knew who his father was. Me? I'm wondering... it would be an interesting thing to dig up and try to see what I can find. Although that might ACTUALLY be an impossible task.

    Nice post (if a bit dour)!

  2. Cool post, Dale!
    I had an uncle who researched my mother's side all the way back to Marie Antoinette. We also have a few horse thieves thrown in along the way :-), and my great grandmother, on my dad’s side, was a Native American by the name of America Reid. I always thought that was neat. I’d never heard of anyone being called America before.

  3. I love the information I've gained with some genealogy research. Mainly, that my mother's ancestor ran for president twice (and lost both times). The story on Lewis Cass was that he was thrown out of the race for stealing a pig. But when I researched the facts, he was actually quite an amazing and very non-criminal guy. He just lost because of his opinions on slavery (against) - among other things. On my mother's mother's side, we've traced back to the Revelutionary War. It's a facinating journey and I look forward to a time in my life when I can research further, especially on my dad's side where we have very little information.

    I enjoy this blog quite a bit, Dale!

  4. Interesting post. My mom has done some research on both sides of the family. Has it all charted out and everything.

  5. I am currently working on my family tree. We have some Native American (or Indian as they were known in the day) links, we've made a few connections to the civil war, one might actually lead us to a famous general, and of cource the standard bootleggers and brothel owners. Yea no kidding.

    But if anyone out there is looking I'm with the Jones and Thompson of Memphis, TN and Gary, IN. On the other side we are the Baar, Davis, Silver, Harrison clans from Michigan and Holland.

    Karen Syed

  6. This is interesting, Dale! I'd love to research my family...I think. Might possibly discovered some "skeletons" I'd rather keep buried! LOL

  7. My sister in law loves research, so she handles all that and I reap the rewards by reading it.