Genealogy for the Clueless
This week, my cousin Julie and I have been piecing together my mother's genealogy for an essay I'm writing. It's for an anthology on small town family businesses of the past. My mother's grandfather started a meat market and grocery on Main Street in Mystic, Iowa, population 2000 back in 1900. His daughters ran a millinery and a restaurant in adjoining buildings. We all got involved in store matters in the 1950s when we visited our grandparents.. Our part in the store economy was to lift ice cream and pop from the coolers free of charge. We thought grandpa was a genie.
It took me days to untangle the documents Julie sent me as I wanted to start at the arrival of my kin to the United States via steamer from England, Ireland, and Wales. After muttering to myself and finally making sense of it all, I have the genealogy I need to tell the story. But in the process, I'm reminded of the Family Tree essay I wrote in 2017 about my exhausting effort to make a tree for my Dad's side of the family. The essay shows how confusing family trees can be to the uninitiated.
Do you have an interesting experience searching out your family tree?
Please tell about it in the comments below.