Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Genealogy: To Know Them Is To Know Me

A New Year...
As everyone gears up for the new year, they are making their lists of resolutions and checking them twice.  [Or maybe that's Santa...]  I, however, am simply plodding along with what have always been my goals, my resolutions ~ to find my family story.  That's broad, I know.  I mean, am I talking about the everyday adventures of my family?  What we did last week, last year?  Or maybe what we'll be doing next month?  Perhaps I'm talking about my parents, my siblings, and the like.  Or maybe even my 2nd great grandmother, Catherine Caroline Vaughn.  [I love her middle name. ;) ]  Could I possibly be talking about my plastic tub full of old family photos ~ too many of them unidentified?  Or maybe I'm talking about the new distant cousin I found.  Or quite possibly I'm talking about finding who originally owned a Victorian family album that's currently in my possession.

The Past Meets the Future in the Present
Well, don't worry I can tell you what I'm talking about [at least, on this subject].  I'm talking about all of the above.  This is why there is such a variety here on my blog, Family Stories.  Sometimes I talk about my kids. Sometimes I talk about family things we're going to do next week.  Sometimes I talk about things that happened when I grew up.  Other times it's about my relatives that I did know, but are gone now.  About things that happened to them and were told to me by them, by someone else, or I've been able to find their story.  Maybe I just have a photo of them, and I've looked up the rest.  Perhaps I've taken a photo of their tombstone, or their house they once lived in.  Other times, I'm talking about people that I've never met, may never have seen, but I know we're related.  Take for instance, my current ongoing investigation of my Paw Paw's brother's murder as well as the murder of his four children in 1957.  Why were they murdered?  Sometimes our stories even collide.  For example, every time we visit the Battleship Texas, my kids are walking on a ship an ancestor fought on in World War II.  My kids' present meeting the past.  An ancestor's past present meeting the future.  It's all intertwined. [Who needs movies like Back To The Future, hm?]

I'm Gonna Find Out Every Last Detail That I Can
I know they are all my family.  I know they are all mine.  They are all from whom I come from.  They are all my roots.  And I want to know them all.  Each and every last one of them.  I want to know the who, the what, the when, the where, the why, and the how.  For to know them and their story is to know me and my story.

I want to know their family story.

I want to know my family story.

That's my New Year's Resolution.

What's yours?


  1. Your post is so profound and thought provoking. So often we search for things far distant from our present and forget about how everything is intertwined. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that our past and our present are often closer than we think!

  2. Thanks Whitney! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I believe that we are all intertwined and connected through our family story.


  3. Well Caroline, I think you just summed it up for all of us. I've always thought I knew 'myself' but getting to know 'them' has put that knowing into such a profoundly different light, a wonderful light. I'm sure there are many of us who have experienced the same. Beautiful pot.

  4. I love your philosophy! I love how the focus of your blog is family stories - including stories of the present. It reminds us all that stories of our lives are our grandchildren's and their grandchildren's roots. Here's to the new year, and here's to finding each and every last detail.

    Cheers, chica!

  5. Very true, your post. I hope you continue on this path, for it's one we as genealogists all share, whether we make micro-goals we call resolutions or not.

  6. Good luck on your genealogy journey! I have been blessed to learn some remarkable things about my family history. It is amazing to discover God's providence in the lives of our ancestors and to think that we have come about as a result of all of it. It is a treasure to find and I wish you all the best and home your roots will be a blessing to you.


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