Forefatherhood

my grandfather and his parents

As I work on my family history, I often wonder about the people behind the names and dates. I unearth clues and dig up bones — figuratively, of course. But the vital records, census entries, immigration and military records only build a framework for my imagination. What were these people like? What did they think about, talk about, eat, play and dance like? I took a moment and thought of a small handful of facts that could describe me as a person: I like Steely Dan I’m not a picky eater I don’t sleep much I can’t parallel park Summer is my favorite season Steely Dan wasn’t around in the 19th century, but aside from that, how the hell would I know any of that stuff about my ancestors? Some people were written about, and still others have had their journals and diaries published. Most of my ancestors were poor… read more