Monday, February 5, 2018

Introduction -- the Great Adventure

For us, it started with DNA tests that whetted an appetite for discovering our own roots. Before long, we were exploring the ancestors who gave us those genes.

From family records and relatives' anecdotes, we learned names, dates, places, and stories about our parents and grandparents.

But it didn't take long to exhaust those resources in reconstucting our earlier generations.

Mark's family came over from England during the Great Puritan Migration of the 1600s, plus a bit of Cherokee mixed in later. Or so he thought.

Kym's family came to this country only three generations ago from Norway and Germany. Or so she thought.

We next researched available genealogical resources and services, trying out several as a way to methodically recreate our respective trees. At first, it seemed easy enough, and within a few short months, we had each compiled enough second-hand sources to track our seperate roots back a couple of thousand years!

Problem was, we soon discovered not everyone researches their own roots as meticulously as we wanted ours to be. We knew we had to look harder to get the facts straight.

And so began our real initiation into genealogy.

It's an ongoing project with surprising stories and unexpected roots. Mark's ancestors weren't Puritans after all (nor did he have a lick of Cherokee), and Kym's relatives from Germany turned out to be from a small Friesian island that was as much Danish as German.

We had our work cut out for us.

And so began our serious exploration of our genealogical roots. It's an on-going passion, and the lessons we're learning in how to research (and where to verify the "facts" we'd collected earlier) have been eye-opening -- not only for our own family stories but also for the connections we've discovered to the larger human tree.

In this blog, we share personal family stories but also the genealogical journeys we discover along the way. And we plan to share the lessons we're learning as well as a few tips that just might save others the time and trouble of having to back-track and correct earlier mistakes.

Despite the detours we've taken already, the journey has turned into a marvelous journey we never expected -- one we hope will reward those choose to look over our shoulders as we forge ahead.

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