I have long been mildly interested in the high points of my family history. For example, I have always heard that Stonewall Jackson is someone's great great great uncle down the line, and while it's unfortunate that he was with the wrong side, he's still an interesting figure, so I've thought that was cool.
As I've gotten older, I've taken more interest in the less flashy details of my family's history, but it's hit a new level this week. I watched Who Do You Think You Are, the TV show, on Hulu last week, and I signed in to ancestry.com before I had gotten more than a few episodes in. (It turns out I already had an account that I started in 2007 and forgot about quickly, which is a good summary of my previous efforts at family history research.) (And note: I'm not affiliated with anyone, so this is just my spontaneous drivel, not sponsored drivel.)
Once I got going on ancestry.com I started with my Grandma G's (my dad's mom) Bible. She had some of the family history written in, so it was a good jumping off point. I entered in that information, then went to my Grandpa G's (my dad's dad) book for more on his side. My Grandpa G, who was born in 1909, wrote this book (at my Grandma's urging) by hand, full of family details, historical information like how they slaughtered a pig in his day, and his thoughts on all of those things. I feel incredibly lucky to have his book, and will write more about it as I go.
I then broke down and signed up for the 14-day trial at ancestry.com in order to get at the "hints" that they said were there. Those hints were all kinds of records of birth, death, etc., and also links in to other personal family trees that helped me fill in the gaps and take my family tree further back than I could do on my own. I won't be able to subscribe for an annual membership when my trial expires, as we're on an austerity budget over here, but look forward to doing it sometime in the future.
So all of this got me to the next step, which is more interesting, and which will be in the next post! Stay with me - it's going to get interesting, I hope!