29 July 2011

The Ebb & Flow of Genealogy

Compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
July 2011

Over the years I have encountered enthusiastic people who are interested in a family tree but quickly fade away because they are not enthralled with the technical research that is required to properly document their line.  On the other hand there are others who incorporate genealogical research into their life.

Avid hobbyists and seasoned professionals alike have a love of family and history.  They love the quest for more knowledge and information and make it a lifelong adventure.

There has been an ebb and flow to my journey in the world of genealogy and historical research.  Right now I am in one of those low tide moments where immediate family needs come first and genealogy endeavors come in little golden moments.  This ebb and flow of my life, which has incorporated research in it for many years, gives me pause with my morning tea to think about the journey.

Each genealogist has a personal reason for what they do.  No two people, like snowflakes, are alike. My journey began with a tattered bible and grandmother who encouraged my journey.  It glowed intensely when I held my first born son and began to fill out his baby book.  It started at the kitchen table with a small file folder and has grown into an office that when built has extra supports underneath to hold the file cabinets.  

Family Lineage Investigations developed and over the years moved to three separate states.  The moves were part of the flow of family life.  Along the way clients and fellow genealogists became lifelong friends.  

The first word in my business name says it all – Family.  Over the years my children thought that vacation always included cemetery visits. They learned to be proud of country and heritage by tagging along.  One son restored a cemetery as his Eagle Scout Project.

The years have included stints of speaking engagements, book projects, cemetery restorations, log house documentation, an antique shop and five years as genealogist for our county library.  Each and every adventure in my journey has been an education.

There have been bumps along the way.  Sometimes I have had to temporarily close the books for respite.  One such ebb was major back surgery because I lifted a tombstone to see what it said on the other side.  I smile warmly at a high tide moment. I remember slipping away from an OGS Conference and driving the many miles home to check on teenage sons and missing the surprise presentation of the McCafferty Award.    I visualize them looking under tables for me having seen me only moments earlier.

I think the most amazing, wonderful thing about our research is that it only gets better.  You can pause on your journey and come back and find that technology has opened new doors.  Genealogists are preserving the memories while creating new ones.   We researchers are caught in the ebb and flow of history of this thing we call life.    Wikipedia says “there is no unequivocal definition of life.”   I see it as the ebb and flow of each generation.  

Image courtesy of:   http://www.clker.com/clipart-44788.html

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful, thoughtful post. I see so many parallels with my own life and research - it certainly does come and go like the tide, the research, but it's always there, waiting for me to wade back in.