When I retired I made a list of all the things that I was going to do now that I have the time. Ha. Turns out most of the items on the list were not as important as I thought they would be when I couldn’t find the time to do them. A few kept me busy for a couple of years and a couple for quite awhile but one of them essentially took over as a new career. That new infatuation was my family history. I had been interested in genealogy for quite awhile but, somehow, hadn’t had the time to really get it going while I was working. Now that I had the time my genealogy really took off.
It helped that a lot of the work that had to be done by any new researcher was gathering data and a lot of that was rapidly showing up on the internet. Sites such as Ancestry.com and others made that search for common records very doable. I was just familiar enough with computers that the new technology didn’t scare me off. If anything it made it more intriguing. I also had access to a great family history document that had been put together in the ’80s by a couple of my cousins which gave me a strong foundation on one side of my family right from the start. I spent a “lot” of time on this new adventure in the early years of my retirement.
Of course, like most genealogy addicts I suspect, I slowly made it through all of the easy stuff and even connected with some long lost relatives, visited a few hallowed family grounds and spent hours scanning all the photos I could find. Eventually, however, my hours of work yielded less and less results. I began to flounder and spent a lot of my time rearranging my old data into new, hopefully more comprehensible, piles. The correspondence slowed. The ideas dried up. The brick walls multiplied. Occasionally a burst of energy would yield a new shard of a story or an unexpected clue would pop up from the pile and lead me along a new path for awhile but the energy was clearly subsiding. I was definitely in need of a recharge.
Then, after 40 years in the same home, we made the utterly illogical choice to sell it and move into a townhome across town. We threw everything we could bare to away and lugged the rest to our new home. Believe me, that move took most of a year by the time we had cleaned up and sold our old house, hunted for and negotiated the sale of our new one, moved all those years of belongings across town and then put it all away. If not physically a year then psychologically. Needless to say I completely abandoned my genealogy for that year. Then when I finally dug out my data and set it all out it was like looking at someone else’s genealogy. I almost didn’t know where to re-start. Sometime soon I will share with you how I got my voyage re-launched along a new trajectory and , in the process, discovered a bunch of new hurdles that needed to be cleared.