Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Is Your Story – What Is The Moment You Knew?

I loved the posting this week on The Armchair Genealogist.  Lynn Palermo wrote about the moment she knew she needed to make more time for her family and how that led to her interest in genealogy.

At the end of that posting, which you can read here, she asked the question "What is your story - what it the moment you knew?"

For me it was 1996 when my oldest child was in kindergarten.  Here's my story....

My mother has been researching my family all my life.  But I wasn't really interested in genealogy until my oldest son brought a simple worksheet home from kindergarten.  His assignment was to fill out his Family Tree.  The tree was very small and only asked for parents and grandparents names.

This was when I discovered that my husband did not know all of his grandparents names.

I just couldn't imagine that!  I could not only recite my grandparents, and my great-grandparents but I knew if I wanted to go further back my mother could fill in the blanks.

But for my husband he only knew the first and married names of his maternal and paternal grandmothers.  He did not know the names of his grandfathers or the maiden names of his grandmothers.  I was stunned.

This is when my research into my husband's family tree began.  And it has been a challenge!  While I do now  know the names of all his grandparents and his great-grandparents, his paternal grandfather remains my biggest brick wall.  He disappears from the family in the 1940's and what happened to him after that remains a mystery.

This project to discover my husbands ancestors tripped the "genealogy switch" inside of me and has fueled my passion for this field.  I have since become deeply interested in the Civil War and in particular the Indiana units.  It has led me to become trained and pursue Cemetery Restoration and Preservation.  Mostly it has introduced me to fellow researchers all over the world whom I connect with everyday via social media and who challenge me to learn more and whose stories I love to hear.

So I'll ask the same question as Lynn......What is your story?


  1. Well done Lisa. I too could not imagine not knowing who my grandparents were. It's amazing what we take for granted until we here others stories people's stories. Thanks for sharing yours.

  2. I am always surprised too when people don't know their grandparents' names, maiden names, let alone great-grandparents' names. It's sad, really. And while I know a lot of those names, I'm really sorry I never found out silly stuff like "What did you CALL your grandmother? Was she a good cook? How did she celebrate Christmas? How did she meet your grandfather?"