Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mi familia...

Inez Martin, abt. 1909
My great-great aunt on my father's mother's side.  Sister to my paternal grandmother's mother, Bessie Mae.

 You know, I DO love to read and review books, but that isn't nearly all of me.  Even of my "librarian-ish" side.  One of my main hobbies/interests over the past couple years has been genealogy.  Yes, research.

For the record, I've always been fascinated by our family history.  I can remember having such fun as a kid looking through old family photos and hearing stories from the past.  I decided last year to finally get serious about tracking information down and joined

Now, here's the thing about and many other sharing genealogy sites---just like wikis there can be a lot of flawed information running amok out there.  So, this is my starting point, and I get tons of great info there, all of which I either currently am, or have plans to verify through documentation found outside the site.
This is also my "storage area" for my family tree.  I really love this site, and I've learned a TON about my extended family.

The images from those who came before me speak to me.  I wonder who they were (beyond just names and dates) and what they dreamed.  Were they satisfied with their lives?  What was it like to live through the various wars and depressions and immigrating to the United States leaving all you knew behind? What was it like for the Native American sides ?  I'll never know all the answers to my questions, but I am beginning to learn a bit about some of these great-greats of mine.

And as I learn about them, I learn about me.  It sounds a bit crazy, but it's true.  For example, I've learned I'm made of strong and sturdy stuff.  These family members of mine lived through difficulties I can't even imagine.  This helps me when I'm exhausted and cross and feel like throwing in the towel. (I have found it especially helpful this summer to think of them---- living with no air conditioning and no running water while wearing those impossibly hot layers of clothing and tending to a dozen children---I quit whining pretty fast when I ponder this image!)

Virtually everything I "know" about my relatives in this image I've had to make up in my own head by reading what little information I do know.  My great-grandmother on this side died way before I ever came along---my great-grandfather, too.  My grandmother told lots of stories about her growing up years, but not much about her folks details.  I think it was hard for her to talk about her mother---she loved her immensely and Bessie's death of cancer was difficult.   Inexplicably, I feel the loss of these members of my very own family.  We share bloodlines and yet I know only names and dates, really.

Thank goodness for the photos. I am so grateful for them--and there's no way I would have access to them without

If you are interested in genealogy I suggest you give it a whirl!  Be warned--you might, like me, find that it's addictive!

Birdie, Frank and Inez Martin


  1. She's beautiful.

    Contemplating life without air conditioning (and with stays and long clothing) also makes me thankful.

  2. Thank you. I think she's lovely, as well. :)