Showing posts from February, 2012

Teaching Myself (1940's) History

I have to admit, I haven't always been interested in history - family, American, or World.  I sat through my classes in high school, memorized the names and dates we were told to, and immediately forgot ...a lot...of what I (didn't) learn.
The phrase, Teach yourself history by doing family history, is so insanely true.  My poor husband, who aspired to be a history teacher, just shakes his head and laughs when I would ask him questions such as "This American ancestor died in France in 1944 - what was going on then? Why did he die over there?"  
Thankfully, I know better now.
For instance, I now know when the Civil War was, and I also can tell you with certainty that it was the SECOND World War that my grandfather fought in and not the first.  (Sorry, grandpa, for aging you prematurely all these years.)  I do, however, tend to forget that World War II affected the entire country, and not just those who enlisted and served in the military.  World War II was more than m…

Looking Ahead...

(Yes, I have a few more days in the month of February to finish writing and introducing you to a few select maternal ancestors - don't worry, they're coming!)

********************** Making the decision to get involved with the release of the 1940 US Census earlier this week, and being completely involved with my family history as part of my blog, last night I went to bed thinking about my family during the 1940's.  The thought process was incredibly stream-lined.

When I think 1940's, and I'm sure like most people, immediately my thoughts turn towards the war.  But when I personally think of the war, I think directly of my ancestor who fought in the war and was a prisoner of the war for a short time.  I also instinctively began thinking of the packet of letters that I currently have in my possession - letters that were exchanged between a young man and woman before they were married, and then continued after they were married and were separated from each other due t…

1940 in 40 Days

The countdown is on.

In just 40 days (okay, now it's more like 39 1/2), the 1940 US Census will be released to the public. It has been referred to as the "largest, most comprehensive, and most recent record set available that records the names of those who were living in the United States at the time the census was taken."
The people who appear in the 1940 US Census are part of what newsman, Tom Brokaw referred to as "The Greatest Generation".  They survived the Great Depression, many men fought in the second World War, and their women sacrificed here at home.  These individuals understand hard work, industry, and have seen innovations in technology that we probably take for granted today.  This generation deserves to have their records preserved.
Personally, I'm wired.  Excited.  Delirious.  Quite honestly, I'm just downright antsy to set my eyes on these records.  Safe to say, pretty much everyone in the genealogy community is.  For years, we've …

Oops...Commercial Break

If you're following along with my family this month, I'm sorry to report that you're going to have to wait for the latest installment.  Don't worry...I WILL write it, and the reason behind the delay really is a very good reason!

I pulled out the family file for the next ancestor that I was hoping to introduce.  Inside the file, I found photocopies from a family history that a cousin had written some time ago.  Since obtaining those pages, I had actually purchased her books for myself, so I proceeded to pull them out and look up the family.

I was completely blown away - to say the very least.

I found where my ancestor's family, the family of a 2nd wife, and yet one other family line all come together in some crazy weird way.  Granted,it's kind-of cool to be able to trace your way back to an ancestor through two different people in your family, but when it happens with three people, and you just weren't expecting it...

Wow!  Completely blown away at the momen…