I’ve done a lot of research looking for my ancestors. From searching on Ancestry, writing letters to court houses where I thought they lived, to going through the libraries where I thought they lived. All time consuming and I’ve learned a lot about patience.
The one thing I hadn’t considered was, I’m living my life every day without realizing I’m a part of history. Living history. You probably hadn’t thought about that either. Between the city directories, the census taken every ten years, and every thing in between. School records, yours and your children’s. Phone records, and the list goes on and on.
When I’m trying to find my ancestors I look in the census, city directories, newspapers, church records, court house records, etc. Somewhere they’ve left their imprint. It’s called following the paper trail. The court house may have burnt down but there are other ways to find your ancestor.
You maybe asking yourself, “Why does she want to have a paper trail?”
It’s simple, at least for me. My ancestor was a breathing person etching out his life just like me. He was born, went to school, married, raised a family, farmed his land, bought a house, divorced, maybe, and passed away. Maybe not in that order but you see what I’m saying. I want to know more about him. What was his likes, dislikes, his religion, if he was religious.
I’ve been able to put together a pretty good sketch of one of my grandfather’s. It’s been interesting. Now I’m wondering if any one of my descendants will be able to find out something about me. I’m sure I’ve left a paper trail of some sorts.
It’s something to think about.