Monday, October 27, 2008

Genealogy: What's the point?

Really, what is the point? People live their entire lives without even knowing who their parents are, right? We all have friends who are closer to us than our siblings ever were and our children either have or will eventually wish that they were either a) never born, b) never had a brother/sister, or c) were not part of their family, right? So why even bother? 

I don't really have a good answer to that. Maybe I'll find one some day but not yet. My motivation in starting my research a couple years ago had mainly to do with the fact that when my family went to my wife's grandmother's funeral I had no idea how express to my kids how the kids that they were playing with were related to them (2nd cousins, it turns out) but I guess once I got started, I've found that I just enjoy the act of researching people. Of finding out their stories, who they were, how they lived their lives, what their challenges might have been. The fact that they are related to me I guess narrows it down from all of humanity throughout all of history to a slightly more manageable but still pretty ambitious and infinite job. And I guess I can derive a certain sense of pride in my findings. Even when they are embarrassing or uncomfortable I guess I am in awe that, in spite of all that, I'm still here and doing somewhat OK. 

If anyone out there is reading this, I'd love to hear what you think about this. Even if you stumble across this 10 years from now (now being October 2008; note to future readers: if McCain won, I'm sorry). 


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