Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Face of Genealogy

What does genealogy look like? Well, it looks a little different for everyone. From outlaws to law abiding citizens ~ there are a myriad of forms your genealogy can take.  One thing is for sure, though.  You won't know until you look.

Join me at the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree in Burbank, California this week, Jun 10th-12th, and find out how to start looking for your genealogy. For your family story

Your ancestors are just waiting for you to find them and all about them.  [O.K. They probably don't want you to find out *everything* about them. You know, all their secrets? But much to their chagrin, you will, which is the fun part.]

At Jamboree, you'll meet all sorts of people ~ from beginners to professionals ~ who want to learn more about their ancestors.  Along with classes and lectures from some of the top professionals in the industry teaching you the newest methods in searching [Yes. It takes more than plugging a name into a database and hitting "enter".], you will have an opportunity to meet with genealogy vendors who bring the most cutting edge technology to you to make your search easier. [That's right. Something for the techies, too.]  And if you're wondering, "OMG. I've never done this before. I won't know anybody," then stop. This is my first time at Jamboree. You won't be the only one. [Plus, hello? It's in southern Cali.]

C'mon. Aren't you just a little bit curious what your genealogy looks like? What their stories are? Who you're related to?  And how to find all the "good stuff" on your ancestors?

Then go to Jamboree.

What does my genealogy look like, you ask? I suggest you take a look at some of my past posts, but I'll share my "Ode to Family" with you that I posted previously along with a photo of my grandfather, Big Paw Paw.  If you haven't read anything about my Big Paw Paw, then I suggest you start right here with They Had Balls. [Yes. You read that correctly. *snort*] He was quite a character. [Rolling eyes heavenward.]

Hey. Maybe you have a "Big Paw Paw" in your family, too. [Snort.] How will you know if you don't look?

An Ode To Family

Oftentimes I'm asked,
Why I've made finding
my family a task.

So here below
My 'Ode to Family"
To you I bestow.

I have a 2nd great-grandfather
With whom I bother.

A bugler, a fifer, or a drummer
In the Civil War, which one was he?
I often wonder if he ever played the
'Yankee Doodle Dandy'.

And when he looked into the eyes
O' the young Irish lass,
I wonder if he told her
'Tis her beauty that could not be surpassed.

One more thing 'bout them I'd like to ask;
How long did it take for her to get him
to the altar for Catholic mass?

Then, so her courageous story won't get
Stuck in a drawer;
My great Aunt Anne I study more & more.
All about driving that ambulance in France
During the second World War;
I'd be honored to write her memoir.

Am I truly a daughter of the American Revolution;
A fifth great-granddaughter of a Patriot of this great nation?

I'd also like to close the book on the lives
Who were so violently taken;
So their memory will never be forsaken.

Arrgh! A pirate lurks way back there;
I often wonder, "Did he stand tall on his corsair?"

And let's not forget the history of transportation.
A Chief Messenger of the railway, and
A teamster from Michigan.

Then my grandfather the bean counter
Who quite a bit ago
Once worked for an oil company in Tampico.

Also the man who I would've loved to meet
Who definitely led me on a wild goose chase.
My Dad's dad who was so tight-lipped;
No matter, he was well worth the trip.

There is also my great-grandfather
Who came from Prussia on Christmas Day;
Who disembarked his ship
To view the beautiful Galveston Bay.

Then there were those who were bawdy
After being given a toddy.

And yet still those who were a bit frisky
After a bit o' Irish Whiskey.

Those who acted bravely,
And those who acted cowardly.

There were those who were feisty, flirty & flowery;
And those who came with a helluva dowry.

Give me my ancestors who were considered tawdry;
Especially those who had a lot of jewelry.

How 'bout those whose plans went awry;
Who just simply wanted to sit down and cry?

Or the one who dared to defy;
Or maybe the one who dared not
Because she was too shy?

I have found none who left home
To marry a carny;
But I've come across a few that spoke
A lo' o' blarney.

There was the one I've heard
Who ran 'round like a banshee;
'Course, she was the sis of the
One who had a bat in the belfry.

Those who stretched the truth vastly;
And those who were downright ghastly.

Some could be considered
A "little miss goodie two shoes"
Yet there were others who
Hated to lose.

Some were quite girly;
While others were a bit burly.

Not all were part of the gentry;
The others came from the country.

There were those whose eyes were beady;
And some who were quite greedy.

Others with nose in the air
Were quite haughty;
Those who didn't care
Were especially naughty.

Some were liars;
And some were criers.

A few were klutzy;
But even more were gutsy.

Some were tall;
And some were small.

I even have a third great-grandma
Who supposedly was an herbal cure-all.

Then there were those who were grumpy;
And those who were seen as a bit frumpy.

"Heavens to Betsy!"
I'd be remiss;
If I didn't mention those
In absolute bliss.

There were those who were known
As "One Hot Mama";
However, I've yet to find one
Who owned a llama.

'Tis very true;
They are quite the motley crew.

But, Oh! How they sit there
In All their glory;
How could I not tell
Their Family Story?

And finally? Here's my Big Paw Paw ~ one of the many faces of my genealogy:


  1. Beautiful, Caroline . . . perfectly said. Love your ode.

  2. Wonderfully written, Caroline!


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