For many years I’ve been curious about all those family members who have made me who I am. Several months ago I made a chart starting with eight sheets of 8 ½x14 paper taped together in two rows of four each.


Then I drew lines for seven generations with me as the first one on a single line in the middle of the chart’s bottom. I put my parents on the next 2 lines widely separated; above those 4 lines for my grandparents; then 8 (great grandparents); 16 (2nd great grandparents); 32 (3rd great grandparents); finally, 64 (4th great grandparents.


How many of those lines are filled? All of my grandparents and 1st great grandparents. I am missing only one of my 2nd great grandparents (the name of the mother of my great grandmother from Scotland). From there on my chart becomes sketchy. I have 17 of 32 of 3rd generation grandparents’ names. Only 10 of the 64 (4th generation) are filled in.


However, I was pleased to find four of the next generation which includes one who fought in the American Revolution. Another entered the War of 1812. Perhaps some fought in the Civil War, but I do not have their names.


If a bowl of chips or box of chocolate is on the table. You take just one. Can you then walk away satisfied? I can’t.


Tracing one’s genealogy becomes equally additive. It is easy to spend hours online searching one site or another. The name of a grandparent pops up. I am thrilled. But, who are their parents? When were they born, married, died? One question after another one keeps me staring at the screen.


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