04 January 2011

Ancestor Approved

 Royalty-free image from Chumpy's Clipart
I was hoping that January would be less busy than December, but so far, no luck. The book we are working on is still pressing for a finish and seems to be ever-present. And even though all my children have left home, there are still worries and interactions with them every day--three today. Maybe nine children was a little over-the-top.

Nevertheless, I do so want to be "ancestor approved." And the rules, as I understand them, are this: Each recipient of this award is asked to list 10 things they have learned about their ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened them and then pass the award on to 10 other genealogy bloggers who they feel are doing their ancestors proud. I'm certainly grateful to have received the ancestor seal of approval. (I hope they do approve and I thank "Family Tree Gal," Carolyn Murphy for the vote of confidence.)

So first: 10 things I've learned:
1- I am fascinated by people's stories. I don't believe there is an uninteresting life.

2- I have been amazed at how much can be learned about a person even when he or she did not leave a written record of  his or her life. My great-great-grandparents Jens and Marie Jorgensen are an example of this. I'm not sure they could write in English. I've never seen anything from them, but my history of them keeps on growing and the insights about their lives haven't stopped yet.

3- Family history is addictive. Good thing I like the 12-step programs.

4- After some coaching and some practicing, I can read Danish and Swedish parish records--sort of. And I am humbly grateful for those parish priests who recorded all that info. Sometimes I look at records from the 1700s and think, "Really? I'm reading what they wrote? Real people and all?"

5- I'm never finished. I will never forget one intense day at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. My sister and I were busily studying a roll of microfilm when another patron across the way stood up and said with some emphasis, "Well, I'm finished!" I looked up in surprise and replied, "You're finished with your genealogy?" The whole row of microfilm reader readers burst out laughing. Of course they knew, as we did, that answering a family history question only sparks more questions.

Ok, how about 5 for now and 5 later? My ancestors are calling. And I'm busy doing "blog research" for more "ancestor approved" blogs.

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