What My Genealogy Journey is Teaching Me

What I love about this journey I’m on is that I’m learning about myself as I research and learn about my family.  I’m learning life lessons along the way. I am learning patience through this research journey.  When I don’t find the information I need or want, I have learned to use different research techniques to find what I’m looking for.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  But I no longer get upset when things don’t go the way I want them to.  I just keep researching harder.  I have learned how to plan and organize better.  Even when I do plan my research trips out there have been times when either libraries were closed, microfilm wasn’t available, or information that I thought should be easily accessible isn’t.  Those experiences have taught me to always have a plan B.  This journey is slowly teaching me about technology as well.  I have started organizing and saving most of my documents on the computer along with photos, obituaries, and interview recordings.  I have a portable scanner that I keep in my genealogy backpack at all times now.  This journey has also taught me how to be a more independent driver.  I hate driving in unfamiliar areas.  But I hate asking for help even more, so I have started driving to and in different cities more.  I have used my GPS more in the last year than I ever have before.

I am an introvert by nature always have been.  I am that person that has to get to know people before I start talking.  I have always been a private person.  If you aren’t in my inner circle, then you probably don’t know anything about what’s going on in my personal life.  I treated my genealogy research the same as anything else in my personal life.  I didn’t share the details with many people when I first started and that includes most of my family.  My husband, my mother, and my sister knew that I was researching our family’s ancestry.  But only my husband knew when my research had taken a turn from me just being curious about my family to me seriously researching my ancestry.  Eventually, my mother and sister figured out that I was seriously researching without me having to explain it to them.  But I had been seriously researching and collecting family photos and documents for at least two and a half years before I shared what I was doing with other family members.  Once I started talking more about my research to my family, I was able to get some stories, photos, obituaries, and memories that I would have never found in libraries or research centers.  My genealogy journey has made me talk to people, ask questions, and ask for help.  Those are all things that do they not come easily for me.  When I first began researching it was just me, the library/research center, and my computer, but now I have family, friends, social media, and genealogists that I have met along the way.  I have a much bigger support system with me during this journey now than I did in the beginning. 

I still have so many questions, but I know that I am on the right track to finding the answers.  Although I have much more research to complete and ancestors to get to know, I am proud of where this journey is taking me and all the things I’m learning from it.  Through this journey, I have gotten to meet some of my relatives and reconnect with other relatives and get to know them all better.  I have been able to expose my son to the family that he didn’t know that he had.  And this is why my journey continues….

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