Since July, I have been obsessed with genealogy. I’ve always been fascinated with family history and heirlooms — part of the grieving process in losing a beloved aunt a couple years back was purchasing a Victorian mourning locket and putting a photo of her in it with a lock of her hair, thus creating a family heirloom for my mom’s side of the family.

I’m totally addicted. I eat, sleep and breathe this stuff. I’m even having dreams about it. (In addition to the show The 100, but that’s a whole other story!) I am not even going to say it’s a problem. I think it’s a great thing to have–to want to know your family history, where you came from, and how you connect to other people. Even better, to have a place to bring that all together and connect to other people doing the same thing.

I have reconnected with my grandmother’s cousin, who is one of the people who helped start this whole journey. A few years back, I asked my Mamaw (my dad’s mom) if she had any family information. She sent me information her cousin Mary had mailed her in 1988, still in the envelope. A couple of weeks ago my mom got an email from that cousin trying to find another family member–she’s 81 and wanted to pass on the genealogy information she has to the right branch. I got in touch with her from that point and we’ve been going back and forth and working on the tree–she’s working on it from her branch, and I’m working on it from the top down. I’ve got us going all the way to the 1800s in North Carolina–it’s fantastic! And it’s so exciting to have someone to share that information with that is equally addicted to the research as I am.

The best part, and worst, is I have several trees going at once. The idea is to have one tree for each of my grandparents. Man, some of those trees sure explode fast! They’ve taken hours of research and will take more, and may never be “done,” which is okay. I’m enjoying the process, and I’m getting my direct descendants solidified. Everything else I call “fluffing out the tree,” and do when I have time–or when I connect to someone who is working on their own direct descendants and I can see they’ve done their research, and we can exchange information. Other trees only have a sprinkling of people on them and will need a lot more research.

I’m slowly building a small little library of family history, too. I’ve picked up a couple of books with family in them–one is just a passenger list of immigrants–but it’s so neat to have a hard copy of what is usually digital information. And I’ve ordered death certificate copies and have a birth certificate copy coming. It’s going to take a lot of time and money and will be a process, but I’m all in, and I’m enjoying every minute.

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