A is for Ancestors

Marilyn Turchin 1927
It's amazing how much the little monkey takes after her namesake

I’ve always found genealogy fascinating. Part of it comes from my love for history, the other part comes from my love for my family and wanting to know all there is to know about them. I remember going to the New York Public Library with my mother and sister when I was about seven to check out their genealogy section.  It was hot and muggy and there might have been an Italian ice or two involved to get us through, but our mission was to see if we could find the manifests for the ship that brought my great-grandfather Samuel here from Minsk. Or was it Pinsk? I could have spent hours staring at microfiche, even at that young age.

A few years ago, when the NBC show (now on TLC) Who Do You Think You Are? came on, it renewed my passion and I got myself a subscription to Ancestry.com.  At one point, I had researched back four generations on both my father’s and mother’s sides.  I hit a bit of a wall because many of my older relatives on my mom’s side had already passed and didn’t leave us much to go on.

Here is a picture of my grandmother when she was a baby, and her parents from the late 1920s – she is the reason I have most of the information I do about my mother’s side:

I didn’t have much of a relationship with my father at the time, and had no one to ask about that side at all. And when it really came down to it, I didn’t have Lisa Kudrow’s money to pay a special genealogical assistant, fluent in Russian, Polish and Spanish to travel to far-flung countries to discover my roots. So I gave up.

I know I had family from both Belarus and Poland on my mother’s side. On my father’s side, both of his parents were born in Puerto Rico, but I’ve also heard that the lineage traces back to Spain and some native people of South America. I have proof of neither.

Today, I have a better relationship with my father, however Ms. Kudrow’s fortune has yet to find me and my long-lost relatives have not come back from the beyond.  Such a bother really…but…

I definitely want to know more.


For more on the A to Z Challenge, please go HERE.

Stay tuned during the month of April to see what other subjects I want to explore…I’ll return to my senses on May 1.


By Joy

I'm 42, a remarried mom of an 8 year old girl and a toddler son, a teacher, and a writer. People tell me I tend to be brutally honest and ...tell it like it is, so I had hoped to use this outlet to keep me sane while I got used to my new life as a stay-at-home Mom back when I was home with my daughter....it worked. And it's been therapeutic through the end of a marriage and the emergence of me...


    1. Thank you and yes, I love these pics. My mother has many more because my grandmother was much like me in that she was interested in familial history. She had a collage of these made and framed! Thanks for visiting and commenting 🙂

  1. Wow, your grand mother is a very pretty baby! 🙂
    I never looked into my ancestry and I haven’t seen that show either, even though TLC is quite a favorite channel of mine. It must be really fun to look into it, right?

  2. I am into the ancestry thing as well. I love digging up things like: an ancestor being a blacksmith or traveling in a covered wagon….It is so amazing and addicting when you get started.

  3. I went CRAZY on ancestry.com, I think my eyes dried out in the process but I love digging through documents and piecing together the history. Fun personal journey!

  4. I enjoyed that show too! And I signed up for an Ancestry account. My dad’s brother has done that side so I am working on my mother’s side with my uncle’s help. Though, during the school year, I cancel my account. I can’t teach and spend hours on that site. LOL

  5. I really enjoy that show too 🙂 Unfortunately our elders were not a chatty group. They usually responded to questions with ” Why do you want to know about that. It ‘s over.” Then they went back to their card game.

  6. You and I were both inspired by that show! Shortly after watching a few episodes, I got an ancestry.com account and binge-searched for almost a month. I used all of my free time to research, print documents, create family trees, and it was such a great experience! I was able to solve a number of unanswered family “mysteries” which was so incredibly rewarding.

    So happy I came across your blog! I’m absolutely loving your writing and look forward to reading more! 🙂

    1. Yay! Glad you enjoyed it – thanks so much for visiting and commenting. Yeah, that show is really cool, I really need to get back into doing my own tree…not only for me but for my little one.

  7. Wow ! thats so nice, I loved your subject, I tried to explore about my family, but could not get much.. its really interesting, thanks for sharing…

  8. You have such a varied family geography, wow! I look mixed race but my parents look white and so do their parents. I say ‘look’ because judging on how I’ve come out, who knows!? It is an expensive and confusing pursuit genealogy and I, like you don’t have the funds – unfortunately.

  9. I know- I’m so very late here! I love ancestry!!! In the past years I’ve spent so much time trying to trace back my family line. Usually it sucks up days and days of my time, then I put it away and forgot what I’ve done only to take days and days to figure out what I have. I haven’t looked at it in a few years but I would love to dig deeper….. And have Lisa Kudrow’s money.

What's your 2 sense?

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