Monday, January 27, 2020

Another Kind of Family "Interview"

It isn't often that we, as our family's historian, actually get to meet up with someone who will show even a modicum of interest—instead of MEGO—in her own family, but in the case of this week's visits, I do have a chance to share with yet a few more relatives. I've mentioned researching my paternal line with one cousin and my maternal grandmother's line with another cousin, but how could I forget to prepare for yet another part of the family? And yet, that is what I didn't think of until my sister-in-law mentioned that very detail to my husband.

The request: show that family tree in diagram form. Simple. Visual. Helpful for instantaneous comprehension. And something I hadn't thought of. I guess I just carry that stuff around in my head. Besides, one click of a mouse and I can pull it up on my computer, any time. But this week, we might just do a family project of printing a huge copy of what we've got, so far. Maybe that will help track progress a bit better, especially for those DNA matches which are showing up on all branches of the family.

I've sat down, during past family visits, and shown my sisters-in-law their family tree as it appears on my account. I've sent out links to them, so that they, as guests, can view the tree online for themselves. But there's just something gratifying about being able to get your hands on something. It somehow helps you wrap your brain around the too-much-data feeling. So this week, we'll try printing various takes on the family trees.

In this case, that will not only mean the Irish Stevens and Tully trees of my father-in-law, but the colonial trees of the Gordon lines, as well as the Flowers and Metzger trees of my mother-in-law. There are so many permutations to explore.

Speaking of Gordons, of course, reminds me that my recent find of the used book on the Tenmile Country might better have been a book brought with me than the brick-left-behind. It is really a heavy thing, and I opted to not bring it—and yet, there is something decidedly thrilling about seeing your own family's names in print in a real book that I could have shared. Yep, I should have thought to bring it, despite its tome quality. Choosing actions based on the assumption that no one will be interested always turns out to be a poor option. Better to be prepared for when the opportunity springs itself upon us.

Needless to say, in the meantime, I've been doing some housekeeping on those lines in my mother-in-law's tree in preparation for our family visits later this week. With so many of my family's relatives moving to Florida, this yearly visit eastward is turning into quite the marathon.


  1. Yes I made family trees for my makes it more personal! :) Enjoy the sunshine!

    1. What a great gift, Far Side. Especially as your grandchildren begin having families of their own, they'll find their minds turning to what they're passing on--and where those traits came from.

      And yes, the sunshine is back, thankfully, after a cold snap.


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