Monday, February 2, 2009
In the Beginning--THERE WAS GENEALOGY
In 1991 we purchased our first computer, although at the time I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand why we needed one. My husband was so proud of himself knowing that his family would now be connected to the Internet and the valuable resources of cyberspace.
After linking the various wires to the components, two of us sat down in front of the screen, he pushed the “on” button and nothing happened. Talk about shock and amazed….a totally blank screen. Ted was furious and took the entire contents of all the boxes back to the computer store. Long story short, there was no hard drive in the hard drive!!! At this juncture, my skepticism as to why we needed this contraption was heightened beyond belief.
Getting connected to the net, once we had a hard drive was even more perilous….it took several weeks and since it came in through our phone lines, we missed many important calls. My only thought was, “What was Ted thinking?”
This was the era of roots, spurred on by the immensely popular TV show. Both of my kids had to do projects on their genealogy. Clueless, I turned to old stuff I had collected from both of my folks. I realized my sons would probably have the worst roots project in their classroom as I could only go back to my grandparents! I have to admit now that I love to scrapbook and do a project….whenever I was not doing well in a class myself, the project usually pulled me up….I was certainly not going to let my two boys fail.
After two roots projects for my two sons in their respective schools, I was hooked. Days spent in genealogical libraries, scrolling through microfilm, making copies of pages in books and filling in countless family charts. The housework suffered. Then came the realization that I could do some of my research on the Internet and the computer became my new best friend. The frosting on the cake…. there was a genealogical program called Family Tree Maker that I could load and do all my record keeping, print out charts….simply amazing.
Thus began my total obsession with researching my family….and Ted’s family and anyone who needed their family researched. Hit a brick wall on one of my branches; go find another family to work on. Cemeteries became my favorite haunt (no pun intended) and obituaries some pretty interesting evening reading.
An so it continues, what began as a new computer and two school projects for my kids has segued into sixteen years of genealogical bliss. Writing this blog and thinking back to 1991, it is truly amazing what can now be found on the web and how much effort all fellow genealogists have done to get it there.