I had a "real"-ish post planned for today--something sparked in part by something I read on one of the blogs on our little corner of the Internet. Fridays are one of my days off so I figured I had all day to work on it and get it "just so," instead of starting in the morning and then rushing home after work to finish it up in time to post three minutes before midnight and then spend two days editing the typos out of the post (as I did most of the rest of this week).
Instead, what happened was I spent most of the day enjoying the gift Cranky Ex-Boss Lady's daughter gave her for Christmas, which was a 6-month membership to Ancestry.com. Neither of them have internet access or even a computer at home, so part of the "gift" is kind of from me, as I will be doing the "legwork" of researching their family histories online. As of yet, CBL has not gotten me the list of names she wants to begin with, so I've been taking advantage of the unlimited access to research my own family tree in every direction imaginable.
It's astoundingly easy to get started and crazily addictive once you get going. Within a few hours, I was four or five generations back on multiple levels of my tree. While most of the records available are just-the-facts statistical type things (dates, names, locations), occasionally you can get a glimpse of a little more--height and weight on draft registration cards, surprising household compositions from various census records, etc. This afternoon, I saw the signatures of two great-grandfathers whom I never met on their World War I draft registration cards.
I also discovered that my father's father's mother's mother's father had moved in with his daughter and son-in-law after he was widowed. During the 1900 census, he was 72 years old. The census information shows that he arrived in the US from Wales in 1860, that both his parents were born in Wales. Then comes the Occupation column under which someone wrote, "Old man."
I realize this internet thing has been around for a while now, but it's still amazing to me that it's possible to sit in my desk chair, in my pajamas, in my teeny, tiny Western New York town and look at, say, the Welsh census from 1841--not just the figures, but a photographic image of the actual pages. It's so amazing, in fact, that I am thinking of asking Hubby to log on to my/CBL's account to change the password so I stand some chance of accomplishing something "real" tomorrow.
The Skin of Our Teeth
1 day ago