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.