Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Started You Actively Researching Your Family History?

Tonight Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings asks what started you actively researching your family tree?

For me, it was partially fascination with my mother's side of the family and partially fascination with the photograph you see on the right side of my site.

I was about 12 when I found a leather wallet full of family information and photographs, and it turned out to be the Blake family of Wrentham, Massachusetts - my paternal grandmother's mother's ancestors. That got me wondering about the stories about the people in the photo and the family trees my great-great Uncle Erwin Felton Blake had taken the time to type.

It also made me wonder about my mother's family. After all, I knew their surnames were Haley and Bartlett, but I didn't know a thing about who these people were, since she and my dad had divorced when I was only about 3 1/2 or 4-years-old, and my dad raised me.

So I started digging and asking questions, poking around at the library, not really quite sure of what I was doing at first. But as I turned 18, moved out, and got married, I persevered in my quests. I can't remember what my first genealogy software was or when I got it, but I think it was Generations in the mid-to-late 1990s.
What started you actively researching your family tree?
Wendy & her mother, reunited in 2008.

It's interesting to see how far I've come from that leather wallet full of family documents and wondering about my mother's family, to what I know now!

By the way, I ultimately did get to reunite with the mother I hadn't seen since 1979 or so (as you can see, I'm much taller than her!). We finally met in 2008 and it was a wonderful family reunion.

Copyright (c) 2016 Wendy L. Callahan


  1. My dad did ours... went waaaaay back. We have photos and stories and all kinds of information. I confess to being more interested in the people I knew, but it's sort of amazing to go back and back and back and see where we came from. Also, the family resemblance is incredible, even back to the earliest days of photos.

    1. I'm interested in the people I didn't *quite* know, but that my parents and grandparents had in their lives. It always seemed like my grandparents had the most interesting stories. :)

  2. I enjoyed your story about finding the leather wallet of info and taking off from there. I have also added your blog to my newsfeed over at blogger. The link to my Saturday night challenge can be found back at the challenge blog.

    1. I'm definitely popping over, Mary!

    2. Oh, and Mary, I wish you had comments turned on over at your blog! I love your get-started story. It's so lovely that family history makes you feel close to your mom. :)

  3. Good piece, it's always interesting to learn where my friends started their interest in learning more about the family. Simply loved seeing your mother, since I've heard bits and pieces about her for 6 years.