365 Challenge: Day 35 – Genealogist

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Genealogist: One who is actively engaged in the study or investigation of ancestry and family histories

We’ve made it through another week and on this fifth Sunday, it’s time to wrap up the first month’s focus on my genealogical heritage. See below for a picture of my Ancestry DNA results.

genealogy

In the last four weeks, I selected the 4 countries where I believe my ancestors hailed from, as well as picked the top stereotypical traits people assumed about the people from those places. A quick summary:

  1. Irish: 20%
  2. English: 33%
  3. German: 33% (Includes the Scandinavian as some of relatives were on the border)
  4. Scottish: 13%
  5. Other: 1% (West Asian – I think everyone gets that!)

While the DNA results and the documentation have a 10% disconnect, it’s a very clear picture of who my people were and where I came from.

Why do I study my genealogy? Take a look at this post on my professional website. It will give you some insight into my historical nature and great big quest for the past.

I often wonder why I’m so persistent on it… do I doubt who I am? Do I need more details about where I came from? Is it trying to understand how it all began?

Ultimately, this interest goes back to more than just people… it’s how did the USA begin. What happened to the dinosaurs? What were the original continents like? How did Earth form? What other galaxies are there? It’s more than being curious. It’s more than dedication or obsession. When I’m researching a family member on my laptop, tons of windows open to compare and contrast records, and I stumble upon a find… my eyes light up, I can’t sit still and my fingers can’t keep up with my mind. The discovery is brilliant and I’m ecstatic.

I’m a linear person. I like to start at the beginning. I have to read the first book in a series. I prefer straight lines. I like to create project plans with a starting point and an ending point. I love watching time pass on a clock, counting down to the re-start of the 60 segment process.

I believe it’s the same orderly structure that drives me to research my roots. I like seeing things improve, gain strength, drive forward. Adding more knowledge with each successive chain or generation. I’m sociological, I suppose.

Seeing a family tree, learning how people survived, how they met… what types of jobs and families they had. What made them move? These are all details I enjoy searching for across the internet.

Can you imagine watching from the sidelines as your ancestors moved through their lives? What if we had a time machine and could go back not to change the past, but to watch it unfold on warp speed? Quick enough not to see the tedious things, but slow enough to watch how each generation changed. To see your 4 times grandparents meet on a boat and decide to marry within days. To know your 6 times great-grandmother suffered so many miscarriages due to the poor conditions of medicine and health, but then she finally gave birth to your 5 times great-grandfather. To know how wars impacted your family. To recognize who touched royalty at some point.

It’s not unlike my interest in mystery fiction. Investigation. Detection. Research. As I draft each of these posts, hitting number 35 today, several themes are starting to appear. I’ve always known about them on a smaller scale, but the picture is becoming more clear.

So now I throw it out there… where do I go next?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post.

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7 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 35 – Genealogist

    Rae Longest said:
    April 23, 2017 at 6:28 PM

    This is certainly a thought-provoking post. When I married, I temporarily lost all interest in my own family history, but became the repository of all the family stories from my Mother-In-Law. She had no daughters, and both sons were oblivious to the importance of family history. Today, my husband’s cousins often ask (write) me to tell them if Rozalea (Mother-in-Law) ever said anything about… and I have sent many of the family crocheted pieces (and I knew who had made them an approximately when) to the museum in North Carolina where my husband’s people are from.
    Also, now that my mother is deceased, I am the only one who knows stories and information about her family (from London) because Mother didn’t share her tales with my brother (only sibling) or he was too busy to listen at the time. His daughters are very interested in “Granny” and her side of the family.
    Fortunately, both mothers’ stories were interesting enough and told with enough detail that they made an impression and I remember them well.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 24, 2017 at 6:24 AM

      What a great memory of the good things. I’m so glad you are keeping all this information in ways your family can see it in the future. It’s such an important part of who we are, we have to document everything we can about our families. Even if one generation isn’t interested, the next one might be, as you pointed out. Hopefully your family realizes how lucky they are you have so much knowledge.

      Liked by 1 person

    […] very in tune with history, time and genealogy, which makes the concept of 100 years, or a century, very important to my research and […]

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    […] 365 Challenge: Day 35 – Genealogist […]

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    theorangutanlibrarian said:
    October 8, 2017 at 6:11 PM

    Awesome topic- I’ve always been very interested in this! I actually had a relative who did some research recently and found out some interesting stuff on one part of my family, but I’d really like to do something more thorough like this one day. I love what you said about going back in a time machine and seeing your great grandparents meet- that would be so cool!

    Liked by 1 person

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