Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fruit of the Family Tree

I have been using Ancestry to try to make a family tree and it has been quite interesting. You see, there are many others who are also doing the same thing and these people, when they construct their tree on Ancestry, put in information that you may find useful in YOUR tree. You can find these by searching names in Ancestry. Very interesting to see the links with other families. I hadn't found out much about my own relatives, other than what I already knew but recently I found my aunt's picture on a family tree that was mostly about her husband's family. I had only met her once, I think, but I recognized her when I saw her. She was my mother's half sister. Then I went to another aunt, also my mother's half sister, and found information about her son, who was my first cousin. Sadly, I never got a chance to meet him. For a few months we lived with this aunt, but her son had already died in World War II. I knew he died in the Pacific but that's all I knew about it. He was about ten years older than I am. On Ancestry, I found a picture of his grave marker. It is in the Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. He died in the Battle of Saipan, I believe, in 1944. If I am ever so lucky as to visit Hawaii, I plan to go to the cemetery and put flowers on his grave.  I don't know if his mother was ever able to visit there. When I knew her, she was a single lady, a widow, I think, living as housekeeper to a single man. We were able to stay with them when we first arrived in America. My cousin was her only child. Ancestry has illuminated many dark areas of our past for me, and I must say, I enjoy it. Many people, I know, have no interest in the past, but for some reason, I always would like to know. As they say, if we don't know our history, we may relive it. And that could be either good or bad. I come from a rather large extended family but for one reason or another, our own family lost touch with most of them. We all started out in Northern Ireland and in typical British and Irish fashion spread out around the world, mostly to North America. Some of my father's relatives went to Australia and New Zealand. I also have a first cousin in South Africa. My sister used to write to her as they were the same age. But I have relatives in the United States I have never met as they arrived at different times. Maybe that is why I am curious about our history. It is a little mystery in itself and you know, I do love mysteries!

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