After writing the post The Most Perfect Wedding Presents, I took Mrs. Mordacai's advice and checked out familysearch.org. It is brilliant. I'm SO glad she told me. I found more ancestors on the side that actually followed their history, and it led me to question my father's side of the family.
Things I've Learned:
-My grandmother's family all came from the same place I live (within 10-20 miles), back to the early 1700s. Maybe this is why I feel so connected there.
-I'm definitely German six ways from Sunday.
-My father's side of the family has interesting crossovers, feuds, and scandals.
- A woman on my grandfather's side married a man, and when he died two years later, married his older brother
- My great-grandfather's second wife destroyed or sold all of my great-grandmother's possessions when my great-grandfather died so that my grandfather and his siblings couldn't get them
- My great-great-grandfather was having an affair downstairs with his soon-to-be second wife while his first wife was upstairs dying of the flu a few days after giving birth
-The German cemetery in which my great-great-grandfather is buried changed its name in WWII to avoid attacks.
-There is a picture of a 19th century Chinese man in the photo section of the family bible (which I didn't know existed at all) with no name - am I related to him??
-I lived down the street from the cemetery in which my family members are buried all my life and didn't know it.
Every day I find more ancestors, dates, and places. I've actually become a wee bit obsessed. I stayed up until midnight last trying desperately to find out about my great-great grandfather (the closest relation for whom I have no information). I have a phobia of cemeteries, so my mom agreed to go into the cemetery in which he is supposedly buried to try to find him. I don't really feel I can rest until I know something about him.
How important is family history to you? Who is your family historian?