Last summer, I purchased my ALL-TIME FAVORITE antique ever!! My eldest daughter went wandering around on her own and stumbled upon a 5 year diary. This was a rare find because each day (literally) for almost five full years was filled in. The diary belonged to a Texas teenager. She was sassy and funny. She wrote about days of playing cards with her mother and sister. She also wrote about days in church with the guys from Texas A&M (according to her: they weren’t much to talk about). She also chronicled her love for one boy in particular. We sat around the kitchen table after we brought it home and read all the way through the many entries. There were many laughs and even a couple of tears. After we finished reading, I googled her and her family. She sadly had passed away a couple of decades before. Her family is still in Texas. I wonder how in the world her diary made its way all the way to our home state. I wonder if her family knew about the diary she wrote back in her teen years. I struggle with the idea that I should contact them and let them know of its existence. I treasure it so very much! It’s a reminder of simpler times. It’s also a reminder that feelings never really change. We all feel happiness, sadness, joy, worry, hope, fear, love, and jealousy. It’s those things that I hold close to my heart when I revisit the pages of the daily writings of a Texan teenager in the 50s.
Two years ago for Father’s Day we got my dad the Ancestry DNA kit. It was what he wanted and specifically asked us to get him. Now, we all assumed that it would come back telling us that he was 90% German. What we knew from his family was that his father’s parents had come from Germany before they’d had children. We knew very little about his mother’s side and because her maiden name was German sounding we thought that she was also German.
After a few weeks, he got the results and they were a complete surprise.
That man is BRITISH. He has a little Western European in him, but way less than we thought. Once we got started on the website we were able to start making a family tree. It even links you up to cousins that match up with your DNA. It’s been a fun project..
I got my own kit and was shocked that I am 20% Irish. I didn’t know I was Irish at all. Now, both of my parents, in-laws, husband and lots of friends have done it too. It really is fun. The anticipation of waiting was even kind of fun. If you choose, it can be a lot of work too.
So after many hours of work I found out things I never would have dreamed. One thing that completely shocked me was that most of my family on both sides have been here for a long time. Many of my relatives were part of the Revolutionary War.
Some came over later and I’ve even seen their names on the passenger’s lists for the boats on which they arrived. Some seemed like nice people and others maybe not so much. You can’t pick your family.
What this particular discovery had led to has been really fun and interesting. Our history lessons this year (we use Ambleside online) have been all about Medieval British history. It’s been neat to read and learn about these great grandfathers. The children have been far more excited to learn about British history because it’s related to them now.
If you’ve ever considered doing your Ancestry, I would highly recommend it. It’s been an amazing experience.