“We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies.”
— Shirley Abbott
In the 1960s and 1970s, a generation of young men and women coined the term “I’m trying to find myself.” This quest for self-discovery (often stimulated by the use of soothing “herbal” supplements) was an earnest attempt, on their part, to find answers to such questions as “Who am I, really?” and “What should I do with my life?” For some, the questions remain unanswered… which is probably why so many Baby Boomers suffer mid-life crises.
It is my firm belief that the answers to who we are (and why we are the way we are) – as individuals, as a society, or as a nation – can only be found by learning more about our history. To understand the present and attempt to mold the future, one must have a clear understanding of the past.
To find out who we are, we must begin at the beginning. Where do we come from? Who are the people who came before us, and before them?
What are our roots?
If you like puzzles, as I do, this is when it starts to get interesting. Tracing your family roots is like meandering through the pages of an epic story, only it’s your story. Your history. It can be fascinating, enlightening and sometimes even shocking. When you begin a genealogical study, you could very well open up a Pandora’s box full of surprises. My theory is: it’s always better to know, than not to know.
I’m in the process of completing my maternal family tree. There are still a few missing pieces, but I hope to fill in the blanks soon. Once that is complete, I will begin the research on my paternal roots.
And then, I will have chronicled the story of my life – from past to present.
My only wish is that I could have met each of these men and women whose blood courses through my veins, whose facial features I bear, and whose character traits I may have.
I guess I’ll have to wait until I’m on the other side.
Oh, what a reunion we shall have!
Some links that you may find interesting:
Image via sherrymonahan.com.