The quest for dead relatives have led to a myriad of locations. The curse of everyone with a Southern Mother is the visits to Civil War battlefields, which are rife though out our country. Getting pummeled with statistics and facts that fit with which side of the Mason-Dixon Line you are on is just a given. I walked among the dead soldiers gleaming white headstones wondering if I too were related to any of them? Which side might they have fought on? Did they kill one of Mom’s relatives or did they fight alongside?
I needed to know. It was my heritage, it was my past to document.
For years I only had two sheets of type written paper that told so little about my background. Non-identifying information. I was a citizen without a past, it was verboten. There are others like me denied access to records, to medical histories, to family genealogies, to simply human interaction, mainly because of fear. It is like the scarlet letter but this time that letter A is for Adoption.
All of that is changing with a little spit. Hello Genetic Genealogy! Goodbye sealed records and family secrets. I didn’t know what my test would reveal, no one really does, not even people who are certain about their backgrounds. I did know that I was tired of not knowing. I spent my whole life watching others research genealogy. Pre-revolutionary war genealogy has always been the subject of family reunions, yet something has been missing.
The “Big Three” personal DNA companies all offer excellent services and I researched before starting with Ancestry, or as I refer to them the GATEWAY DRUG. I bought a membership and used the time waiting for my DNA to look through records to see if I might narrow the field, let’s just say I was off the mark and should have waited. What my searching did for me was teach me how to use the Ancestry system to my advantage and how to use Classmates to search yearbooks for possible matches.