My Ancestors Taught Me How to Share
It didn’t always, but today my genealogy research always includes finding out as much as I can about the descendants of my ancestors. I attempt to include information as far down as the great grandchildren of each of my deceased ancestors and further if it is reasonably easy to find. To explain why I trace the descendants of my ancestors I am going to tell you the story of how I learnt to share. I have two brothers and as kids our parents taught us how to share, both my parents also have two siblings and their parents taught them how to share. I am sure that as I go back through the generations, parent after parent taught their children how to share.
When I started asking questions of my parents and grandparents about family history, they shared a lot of information. After a while I wanted to know more so I and asked questions of my grandparents siblings and cousins and I learnt a bit more each time. I also found that when I took back what I had learnt to my parents and grandparents it often triggered memories of information they hadn’t shared with me previously and they then told me more family stories. Years later when I purchased some certificates of births, deaths and marriages, I was able to take my pedigree chart back further.
I then put my family tree on the internet and I found other people who had my ancestors in their family trees. Mostly by email I started to meet distant relatives with whom I had ancestors in common. Meeting distant cousins I started to receive some of their family stories and some of them even had photographs of great-great-great-grandparents which they gave me copies of. I then started to do something that unintentionally helped others in their genealogical research. I began looking into the descendants of my ancestors. I wanted to know more about my ancestors and this began the searches that found out more about their siblings. Discovering my direct ancestors siblings meant finding out who they married, where they moved to, who were their children and grandchildren.
As I put the information I uncovered on family history websites, this was the breakthrough that others needed for their own family history search and I was suddenly met with a significant number of connections with distant cousins. While I never stopped sharing with my siblings, over the last ten years my deceased ancestors have taught me to share with my extended family. By sharing what I uncover about the descendants of my ancestors I keep meeting extended family and receiving a lot of new family photos, stories and other items because the family I meet are appreciative of what I share with them and they share things in return. What better reason is there for doing a bit of extra research and sharing what you learn about your ancestors descendants.