Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saturday Night Fun on Sunday

I apologize for not getting to this last night, but I'm way behind on blogs and blog reading. Randy Seaver at GeneaMusings always posts a "Saturday Night Fun" question to which those blogging genealogy are encouraged to reply. Last night's question was:

“What event or person inspired you to start your genealogy research?”

I'm not going to answer this immediately because I want to just say that it is kind of ironic because just earlier in the day, I was sitting around with several APG friends. We were all discussing this very question, and it was interesting to hear how each of these persons had gotten their start. Mine was probably one of the least interesting things.

My mother had always wanted to know more about her Harris family. She and my grandmother had made a few attempts, but just didn't really know what they were trying to find or really where to start, especially when they went to Pulaski, Tennessee, the county seat for Giles County and encountered one of the big problems in Southern research -- courthouse fire with loss of records.

Now, I've always loved history, and I really don't know why I didn't know about this option back in high school or I probably would have gone this route. I didn't know what I could do with a degree in history other than teach the same content over and over year after year, and frankly, that idea didn't appeal to me. I've always loved detective shows on television and books that involve sleuths so the sleuthing aspects of genealogy were also appealing. It's really a shame that I didn't know more about genealogy earlier in my life.

In the mid 1990s I was living in Cincinnati which had one of the best genealogical libraries in the country. I decided that I would try to find out about Mom's family for her. I made a few discoveries on this line, but it was really a line that needed to be put off until I had more experience researching. I made the typical mistakes of newbies -- trying to work on too many lines at once. I soon learned to focus on the lines on which I was making progress.

Let's just say that I became addicted to genealogical research and began attending conferences where I heard some great speakers who gave me some great advice and tips! So that's my genealogical journey. I'll try to post some reflections about the NGS conference in the next few days.


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