Amy Johnson Crow has a “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge going on, and I thought that I would give it a whirl. I know – last time I tried a 30 day writing challenge I lasted a whopping 2 days. This time will be different (haha). It’s a one word prompt, once a week…… and the prompt is very vague. I love that. The last challenge was very specific, and that’s the main reason why I didn’t see it through. I just didn’t want to write about most of the prompts! This challenge offers more freedom.
I’m all about freedom.
Originally, I thought this would be the perfect time to remember how and why I “started” doing this genealogy stuff, but I would just be rehashing what I wrote in my “about” page. I want to dig deeper, and look at why this hobby has stuck with me since I started.
We all “start” from somewhere.
I think many of us have this underlying question about who we are, why we are here, what our purpose might be, and where we belong. I was not raised in church. I wasn’t raised with any preconceived beliefs, or under the persuasion of my parents regarding what lies beyond this earthly realm. I have sought the answers to these questions for a long time. I have also come to the conclusion that there are some things that are not for me to know. Not in this lifetime.
I have accepted this, but there is still that itch. Turning to genealogical research to scratch that itch makes complete sense. If I can’t answer those questions, or know where I came from (big picture), I might be able to figure out where I came from, who I came from, and at least some of the circumstances that have led me to being here at this place and time.
Think of all the moments that had to take place in the past in order for you to be HERE at this VERY moment. Good decisions. Bad decisions. Natural phenomena. Chance encounters. Wars. Persecution. Migrations and movement. Commerce. Death. Love. Perhaps forgiveness. All of the occurrences that led to YOU.
If my ggg-grandfather hadn’t had such bad luck with wives passing on, he wouldn’t have married his third wife, and I would not be here. If my gg-grandfather never crossed an ocean in 1879 and moved to Iowa, I would not be here. If my g-grandma hadn’t died in California leaving her children orphaned – which brought them back to Iowa, I would not be here. If my grandparents had never attended the same chivaree, I would not be here. If my dad hadn’t decided to return home from the West Indies, I would not be here.
If ten different families hadn’t moved westward to Guthrie County, I would not be here.
You inherit half of your DNA from your mother, and the other half from your father. And your parents received half their DNA from their mothers, and half from their fathers. We don’t inherit all their DNA – it is randomly passed to you. You may have been dipping out of the same gene pool, but your brothers and sisters inherit different combinations of DNA from your parents.
Imagine all of the DNA that had to fall in and out of play over the millennium to create your unique self.
Now imagine all of the DNA that had to fall in and out of play over the millennium to create your children.
Life is unfathomable and amazing.
I will never make it back to the beginning – back to the starting line. I’m at peace with that. It’s the discovery of stories, and the remembrance of all the journeys before me – this is what is interests me most and why I continue to do this. I is what scratches my itch.
This is me. With my dad’s eyes, and my mom’s frowny mouth. My grandpa’s teeth (they are big and they are in there), and my mom’s under bite that required orthodontia (that one got passed onto my son). The smirk is mine. :-/