04 December 2005

The History Detour Started With Genealogy......

It started with genealogy about 15 years ago…..

I was born in Genesee County, Michigan. I knew my parents were born in Genesee County, too. Grandma was born in Michigan on July 4, 1900 (always knew how old she was). So far so good. Grandpa was born in Lapeer County, Michigan – not so fast – and not so good. After going around in circles at the Burton Collection of the Detroit Public Library, checking and re-checking the Lapeer-specific volumes, I had nothing on Grandpa. Puzzled, I asked my aunt why, despite my best efforts, evidence of Grandpa’s Lapeer County birth was nowhere to be found. Luckily, she had the answer -- because he was born in Battle Creek, not Lapeer. Oh. [Probably one of the most frequently mentioned tips for new researchers is to first gather information from family members].

The above-described information was the sum total of what I knew about my family’s history fifteen years ago. There was plenty to learn about Lapeer County and the people who lived there. [See my WorldConnect Database for Lapeer County]. Including my relatives; Grandpa’s mother, Addie More, was born in Lapeer county on June 28, 1864 and buried in Thornville Cemetery in that county (although she died in California, but that’s another story).

Once great-grandparents, great-great uncles, cousins and assorted other “persons of interest” have been discovered, it natural (and pretty much unavoidable) to learn about when and where they lived while researching the family tree. It’s also fun and sometimes awe-inspiring to discover their place in history. [See Powers & Palm tree for my extended family database].

Discovering the whereabouts of some of these real life characters has determined some of our travel plans. Visiting Abingdon,Virginia, and New Orleans, Louisiana, comes immediately to mind. Sometimes it’s vice-versa – travel plans are made and genealogical research is fit into those plans. Retired and traveling full time in an RV, why not combine travel and research – we have to be somewhere. Michigan and Florida are still our top two destinations, though.

Blogging on the road...

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