Most people researching their family tree are looking for their roots. I was too, but what I found was nuts! Not the people, but how such extraordinary information was somehow lost along the way.
Like most novice genealogist I gathered information from my family. What I had were names and locations for a couple of generations and a few stories. It wasn’t a lot, but it was a start. I took what I had collected and began building a family tree.
At first my son was just as excited as me to explore our history. I sorted through census records and followed my grandparents and great grandparent’s movements and tracked each family member. My tree was growing and I was finding exactly what I had expected – immigration to the Midwest during the mid-nineteenth century. Eventually, my son told me to just let him know if I found someone that wasn’t a farmer or carpenter. I think he was hoping our French Canadian line would somehow, somewhere have a NHL connection.
What we were both surprised to find was that the French Canadian branch, which we had assumed would be deeply rooted in Quebec, split and lead back to New England! Turns out that my 5x great grandmother and her family were, in fact, in Quebec for generations, but my 5x great grandfather who had settled there was actually born in Connecticut in 1754!
Even more astonishing was to find that his father, my 6x great grandfather, was also born in Connecticut and fought in the American Revolution at Fort Ticonderoga! THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION!!! Uncovering this information was not only exciting and moving for me, but also dumbfounding. How is it possible that such incredible and historical information gets lost through the generations? I just don’t know. It’s just nuts!
My climb through my tree continues. Next up: Just a name? What I do when I can’t find any information beyond a name.