Since I was a child, I’ve been trying to pull out as much information about my family as I could from my parents. I’ve always felt a sense of importance about it. When I got to that age when you realize your parents do not know the answer to every question, things slowed down. Until a few months ago, I wasn’t taking in much in the way of new information. Now, it’s coming in waves. Huge, overwhelming, fucking fantastic waves.
I have Ancestry.com and my grandmother to thank. Ancestry.com has put in me in a whirlwind of information, and my grandmother ended up being a whirlwind of information herself, people had just never asked. So slowly, I’ve been plotting out my families history as far back as I can go. I think about it almost constantly. I think about the things I’ve found, what I haven’t found. I’m obsessed with it. I feel a sense of urgency, a sense of needing to know. Perhaps it’s an identity thing. Being at the age I am, maybe I’m looking for my ancestors to guide me to who I am. That seems a little far fetched though.
I have a fear for forgetting. Already having a terrible memory doesn’t help this. I fear that I’ll grow old and forget my life, the lives of those close to me, forget what is important. Perhaps that’s why I’m knee deep in records learning everything I can about my family. I want to learn it now, get it all down, so that I never have to lose the information. However, I think it’s more about the future of my family than the past.
Almost two years ago, my eldest brother had a baby girl. She is the darnedest thing. I love her to death. I don’t want her, or my own future cute babies, to wonder has much as I have about our family. I want them to know the whole story, not bits & pieces, and be able to name exactly where their ancestors are from, what that means, and to feel proud and celebrate that. Then again, I don’t want to take the thrill of the search away from them or any family members. Certainly, it’s nice to have all the information there for you, but I don’t want it taken for granted, and I wish everyone could experience the rush of going through records and learning new things about your family. It is the most exciting feeling. And sometimes the most emotional. Just last night, I dug deep and found new information about my great-grandmother. I discovered a lot, including a picture of the ship she took when she immigrated to America. Fucking woah. But I hope digging through a binder of the information I’ve turned up it’s just as exciting for the new additions to my family.
To some people, it’s just not important, and I’ve never understood that. Maybe heritage and culture just isn’t important to them or their identity. I want to understand that but I don’t. I want to shout about my ancestors from the rooftops, carry immense pride in their culture, their life, what they accomplished. It’s so integral to me and the way I live and think about life. If it is to you to, I stronger then strongly suggested that you look into what you don’t know about your families history. It’s so important, so fascinating, and so fun. If you’re using Ancestry.com, it’s worth every penny and more.
Go forth, Fangirls! Discover your families!
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