Thursday, March 24, 2011

Should You Start A Family Tree?

I didn't even know I wanted to have a family tree.  I knew what a family tree was.  My Mom had an old bible that had a picture of a tree and places to write names along the branches of the tree.  She never filled out any of the names, so it wouldn't help.  (Where did that bible go anyway?)  It all started when my niece asked a question about our family history.  I had no idea what the answer was.  I didn't have anyone to ask.  Our family history was lost in time.  There could be thirty, maybe forty family members that were still alive.  Where to start?

The challenge was that we moved west fifty years ago.  Family three thousand miles away.  Names?  Why didn't I write some of those things down?  In those fifty years Mom told us stories.  Hard to remember what to get at the store much less remember a story from fifty years ago.

Alright let's get serious.  Twenty years ago I had the opportunity to visit my Aunt in Texas.  In the four hours at there house three were spent on there hobby.  Aunt Marion and Uncle Henry were very excited about researching our family tree.  (Not the bible)  (Keep up)  They had binders, books, file cabinets, a computer, and passion.  They spent vacations traveling around the country trying to locate records.  I'll just give them a call.  I wonder what there phone number is?  Who got Mom and Dad's old phone book that had all those notes in it?  Let your fingers do the walking. (You may have to be over forty years old to understand that.)  No phone book for Texas, okay then dial the area code and a 555-1212.  (You may have to be over 30 to get that one)  Okay 411, State? City? Name? "We got nothing".  Now what do I do?

I'm tired of typing and I still don't know if I need a family tree.  What I realized was that if I start a family tree today, the family that follows me will have at least have a place to start.  Your welcome!

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