IN SEARCH OF…

Reflections From Me

Joining in with the Facebook group, ‘Friday Reflections.’

THIS WEEK’S PROMPTS –
1. Tell us about one of your grandparents.
2. Share your favourite TED video / talk and tell us why you love it so much.
3. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How have you harnessed this in life and/or in what you do for a living?
4. What are your top life hacks?
5. Who or what inspires you?
Bonus VLOG prompt (for blog or your FB page) – In 90 seconds or less tell us / your readers about yourself.
I’ve chosen #1 – “Tell us about one of your grandparents.” I’ve chosen this prompt because just yesterday I canceled my subscription to Ancestry.com after coming up empty handed once again. It’s a love-hate relationship I have with all of these genealogical sites because I think they’re hugely wrapped up in false advertising.
We’ve all seen the commercials, it looks so easy doesn’t it? Just type in a name of one of your ancestors and all of these lovely leaves – your family members – start popping up all over the place until, ideally, you find yourself staring at a lush, mighty oak on your computer screen. A limb by limb ancestral record, complete with photos, of all of your blessed loved ones from the great beyond.
Yeah.. Not so much. I’ve been an Ancestry.com member off and on for years and still my paternal grandmother’s history remains a mystery!
I watch those shows, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ – And FYI, they’re never who they think they are… – And the other “sister” show, ‘Finding Your Roots’ and miraculously everybody finds their genetic back story. I’m convinced this is an option available exclusively to celebrities.
Seriously. Let a celebrity sit down to a computer – someone who can barely find the keys on the keyboard – and by the time they henpeck their grandma’s name in, boom! A whole tree unfolds.
False advertising.
I don’t know how many of you have tried “finding your roots” but it takes hooouuuuurrrrrs of searching. Despite Ancestry.com’s extensive library of all things genealogy, for the non-celeb it can take weeks, months and years to find your ancestors, unless of course, instead of a family tree you have a money tree, in which case you can hire the pros to do all of the leg work for you because the leg work inevitably involves travel. Travel that will land you in libraries and courthouses across the country. Travel that will take you to old cemeteries and neighborhoods that may or may not exist anymore.
‘Who Do You Think You Are’ and ‘Finding Your Roots’ both make available to their “A-listers” sit down sessions with countless top notch historians. They get tours of their ancestors stomping grounds and access to rare books and articles regarding their ancestors. These options aren’t available to us common folk, unless of course, you hire the pros at a rate of $20 – $100 an hour, per FamilySearch.org and even then, there are no guarantees.
Out of sheer frustration, I have set aside my search for my grandma – for the moment.
Until I find what I’m looking for I will never stop searching, and all I’m looking for is a photo…
My grandma was only 29 years old when she died of diphtheria. She left behind my grandpa and 4 small children, ages 9 years down to 4 years. One of them was my dad..
My grandpa was so grief-stricken when his young wife died that he burned everything that had anything to do with her, including all photos. My dad, uncle and aunts relied only on their memories of what their mom looked like.
1.) Tell us about one of your grandparents
****According to 4 little kids left heartbroken in Chicago back in 1935, my grandma was tall and had long, dark wavy hair…
According to my grandpa, she was beautiful…

24 thoughts on “IN SEARCH OF…

  1. Kathy Combs says:

    I have never attempted to trace my roots. A family member on my dad’s side was able to trace back my grandma’s roots and compile a book which I happen to be listed..pretty cool. Not sure how they went about their research but I agree with you that those genealogy sites make it sound way easier to locate information than it actually is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Angel Stew & Devil's Brew says:

    It’s so frustrating. My mom has her family traced all the way back to the beginning of time, on the Mayflower and building this country. She’s related to *everybody* and we have the photos and documents to show. My dad’s side of the family makes my head want to explode. I can find some things but not THE thing, the ONLY thing I am most interested in. A photo. Just a photo..

    Like

  3. Comedy Plus says:

    I’ve never tried to find my roots either. The ones I knew were scary enough that I didn’t want to go back to earlier family members.

    I hope you find a photograph of your grandmother. That would be a terrific find.

    Have a fabulous day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Angel Stew & Devil's Brew says:

    Lol.. You sound like my little sister. She says the same thing. 🙂 And thank you.. I hope I find a photo too. Short of taking out a full page ad in the Chicago newspapers or being the weirdo calling everyone with the same last name, I’m at a stand still.

    Like

  5. S. J. Qualls says:

    I did the Ancestry.com thing. Made myself fairly nuts for a couple of months. Because my father and two of his brothers married my mother and two of her sisters, it became a real nightmare. My mother was labeled, “wife of brother-in-law of aunt” it is true, but OMG, nuts! I found an embarrassment to the family, when my uncle ditched his wife and five kids to run away with some young girl. I was so disgusted! Chose not to look any further.

    I did find that I could get pictures from my father’s high school year book – for a price. It’s always been about the money, hasn’t it? If your grandmother graduated 8th grade or HS, there may be a picture of her somewhere. When you pick up the search again, I hope you find her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angel Stew & Devil's Brew says:

      S.J., you do feel my pain! I found out things about her family, mainly that they operated from a list of about 4 names used over and over and over again. A real nightmare. I checked the photo section including the yearbooks. Zilch. I seriously think I’m going to have to take out an ad or find someone in Chicago willing to knock on doors and make those creepy, intrusive phone calls.

      Like

  6. Joe Ormerod says:

    My Dad delved into the murky waters of Ansestry.com, among other sites. He spend years and managed to trace us back to Lancashire in merry olde England.
    Hope you are eventually successfull in your search!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anonymous says:

    Some of my cousins have done extensive research on my mom’s family and one of them has been able to hit the various places that store archived records in NYC. He’s sent me some info. He’s even been to our family’s ancestral home in Italy and took pics, in the 70s. My father’s family is more of a question mark since he and his siblings were abandoned by their parents in S. America when they moved to NYC. But I’m not gonna pay to research it. Those commercials bug me so bad. I mean if your grandparents really lived next door to the Wright Bros, don’t you think that would have come up at Thanksgiving? I am, however, tempted to do the DNA test because I know that I am 50% Italian and 50% Portuguese. There’s no wiggle room for any other nationalities or races. That’s the only way I’d believe that the DNA test was accurate, is if I got 50-50.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angel Stew & Devil's Brew says:

      Yes! You’d flippin’ know if your gparents lived next door to the Wright Bros! I don’t know about the DNA being 50/50 unless there are nothing but Italians on one side and nothing but Portuguese on the other, and even then, we all came from somewhere beyond that.

      Like

  8. peppylady (Dora) says:

    I been doing family history off and on for years now. My mother cousin let me use his ancestry account.
    I had my DNA and found the results interesting. I was told all these years my Grandma, my fathers mother was French and Indian. Even found them on a Eastern Canadian reservation.
    Well I have no traceable amount of either. But did find out I’m 2% not much. Italian and Greek. But not sure which side….Coffee is on

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angel Stew & Devil's Brew says:

      I think DNA is going to be my next move too. I thought they could break it down between your mom and dad and tell you the people that come from each parent. If they can’t, that blows. Interesting about finding your family on a reservation. Maybe Canadian reservations and that particular tribe had different rules about who stayed there. That would be a good story to follow.

      Like

  9. sizzlesue15 says:

    I started with Ancestry.com but like you it all became a bit too hard. I was so fortunate that two cousins (one on mum’s side and one on dad’s side of the family) didn’t give up and have provided me with generations of ancestors and their history. Thanks for sharing and I hope that one day you can find more information – it can become addictive! #Fridayreflections

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angel Stew & Devil's Brew says:

      Thank you SS. 🙂 It’s sooo stinkin’ frustrating… I just want a photo.. And, I did find a bit of a back story. My dad’s grandparents and greats were all involved in alcoholic beverages in some capacity or another. They owned bars, were distributors, etc., which is only funny because my dad was never a drinker and had maybe ONE beer a year if the temps went up over 90. – Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

    • Angel Stew & Devil's Brew says:

      But don’t those commercials and t.v. shows make it look sooooo easy??? I suppose if we had all of those researchers behind the scenes doing all the work we’d all know our origins. Apparently it takes a money tree to find your family tree.

      Like

  10. tracie @ beets+birch says:

    How frustrating for you! I hope you can catch a break! Sad story.

    My mother invested years and a lot of money into genealogy after she retired. Her mother passed when she was a baby. She was raised by her grandparents but always felt disconnected with who she was. I think the genealogy project was a way to try to heal some of her hurts. I don’t know if it really did or not though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angel Stew & Devil's Brew says:

      I totally get that. It’s like a piece of your puzzle is missing and I don’t know whether or not actually seeing a photo of my grandma will ease that “missing piece” feeling but just to see her.. When my dad died I was sad of course and yet I rejoiced because FINALLY he would get to see his mom again and she would get to hold her baby boy…

      Like

  11. JerseyLil says:

    Karen, I hear ya!! I’ve been frustrated by genealogy sites too, they advertise much more than they can deliver. I’ve been an Ancestry.com member off and on for years too and found very little in those databases that relate to my ancestry. I might try again later this year though, because a distant cousin has a tree posted there and maybe I can find something I don’t already know through his link. Or not! I’ve watched those shows and yeah, what’s with the celebrities who always find their roots?! It can take years to find one little thing, if you find it at all. I’ve been searching for many years for my paternal grandmother’s birth record. I’ve found birth and sometimes baptism records for all the other children in that family except her! Nothing on her until her marriage record. Now I’m wondering if she was adopted! Hope you find a photo of your grandma one day! Very sad what happened to your grandpa, such a hard time for him. I bet your grandma was a real beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Angel Stew & Devil's Brew says:

      Ugh. The struggle is real, isn’t it JLil?? I can’t find my grandpa’s birth certificate and then I think, maybe it was a home birth and sometimes birth certificates weren’t issued. I don’t know but you’re right. It is incredibly frustrating and that’s why I have to step away, take a breather and go back to it. Honestly tho, I’m about the be the creepy phone caller asking people if they’re related to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. mackenzieglanville says:

    Oh that is devastating, I can imagine what a frustration that must be and how hard for your dad to loosing his mum so young. I really hope you find something. Thank you for horsing #Fridayreflections

    Liked by 1 person

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s