Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why the Posts Here are Dwindling: Blame My Family!

I haven't been posting much here because I've been working on a huge and chaotic family history project. You can see the beginning of the results on my family history blog, Remember

Some came from Germany

If you've ever worked on your family's history, you'll know that it's hard to figure out where to start, especially if you are the holder of your family's documents and photos. I have piles of files of information, some inherited from my parents and some containing my own research from the last time I worked on the project in 1999. It's wonderful stuff--Birth/marriage/death certificates, probate records, and census sheets; and my favorites: Photos, interviews, and stories. 

Did I refer to this project as huge? To give you an idea of the possibilities: If you wanted to go back as far as your great-great-great grandparents, you would have 16 pairs of ancestors. Now, here is where it gets interesting. According to an article (Ten Effective Strategies for Building a Family Tree) from GenealogyInTime Magazine: 
Assume each pair had three children, who in turn had three children, who in turn had three children. If we roll the clock forward, after five generations you appear. If you do the math, you will find this will produce 365 people down to your generation. But, wait a minute; you have 16 pairs of great-great-great-grandparents. This means your extended family tree has 16 x 365 = 5,840 potential people in it!
Of course, my mother's family never stopped at having a mere three children--that was for sissies. Her parents had 13 children, her dad was one of 13, and her oldest sister had 12 kids! The sheer numbers are overwhelming.

I don't just have my mother's family (England, U.S., Canada) to document; there is my father's family (origins very mysterious), my husband's parents' families (Italy, Germany), and my son's family (The Netherlands). Add in the fact that our own is a blended family (his, mine, and ours) and the complications are endless.

Dutch boy with tulips (my son)

So, how did I find a way to start telling the family story? I want to share the process, the pitfalls, and the shocking surprises with you in the next few posts here on The Zees. In the meantime, if you look at nothing else on the Remember blog, I hope that you will read the story Mary and Amalio Talk About Life in an Italian Town in the 1920s, because this kind of record is why I wanted to make a family history blog in the first place.

Newly arrived in America


Joyful said...

Wonderful project you are engaged in Clair! I have only a little experience in documenting my family history and I know just how much work it can be. Mother and I had always intended to do some work together on it but sadly that time has passed. I don't know whether I will pick it up again some day. Kudos to you for doing something to document everything for your family. Every family needs a historian.

Kate said...

I feel breathless just reading your comments. I doubt that you will have much time to do anything else if you approach this project with seriousness of purpose, as you seem to be doing. I hope that you come up for air now and then to post something on your blog for us to enjoy. T'would be too overwhelming for me!!

becky said...

Hiya Clair!
Glad to know I'm not the only one! Life gets so busy, who has time for blogging?! Yes, your project looks huge, but I bet you are having a great time doing it! Anyhow, I am just off work & brought my computer to catch up on things.,,, and I wanted to say hi, thanks for stopping by my rarely updated blog AND to wish you a belated Happy Thanksgiving! Hope all is well & happy for you in Las Cruces.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Good for you! My sister has done the work on our side, but I would love to work on Bill's sometime...