Growing up I was surrounded by an extended family and I always loved attending family events.  My parents taught me to call all of the older generations 'Aunt' and 'Uncle' as a sign of respect.  Admittedly this kept things simple but it also kept my real relationship to each of them a mystery to me.

Learned Late in Life

I was in my forties when my mother revealed the family tree that she had been quietly working on and I was very excited to finally understand my true relationship with the people I had known my whole life.  It awakened an interest in family history for me that had not previously existed.

Second Generation Takes Over

I promised to continue the work when she felt ready to hand it off.  Shortly after, my mother handed the reins of the search to me and for a while we worked as a team.  When she was no longer able to help I worked on alone and would periodically share my findings with her.  Read a little more in Early Days of the Hunt.  Now that she is gone I think that I have exceeded her own hopes for documenting the history of our family.

Enjoying the Chase

In my search I have met distant relations also pursuing this same research.  I made contact with family unheard for a century on the other side of the world. I have learned my real relationship to 'Aunts' and 'Uncles' growing up.  My sense of family has grown. Read more in Why.

One day I too will pass to become an unknown face in an old photograph or a mere collection of dates and places in the family history of someone else. I leave behind this body of work as proof that I valued family, kept a promise to my mother and briefly existed.