Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ready, Set, Go

     I have been reluctant to do a genealogy blog.  I don’t have the usual stories and photos that are the “stuff” of such blogs, and the close kin who might provide these family history gems have long since passed on.  My genealogical quest wasn't sparked by tales told across generations, but rather the absence of them.  Oh, I do have a few stories and photos inherited from my mother, and a couple of hours on the internet easily yields information on 9 generations of her ancestry, tracing back to Scotland, Ireland, and Latvia, among other European countries.  It is my father’s line that I know next to nothing about.  I don't even know his name.
     What little I do know about my father and his line I've learned  through DNA testing, my genealogical explorations, and just recently through  the information I've been given by newly discovered second cousins.   I know that my father and his family were part of the African diaspora and at least some of them had ties to Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia, with significant roots in Louisiana.  Like a lot of African Americans from the South, it seems he made his way West and to the San Francisco Bay Area as part of the great migration.  He had to have arrived by early 1955, but I suspect that he came before or during World War II like so many others did. Perhaps he served in the military like my godfather did, or he came to work in the shipyards like my brother's father.
     I would love to know who my father is, who his people are.  Who my people are.  I've always wanted to know about them, my ancestors.  What are their names, their stories? My ancestors hold a part of my own story that has always been a mystery to me.  It is as simple as wanting to know if I will find my features in the faces of my ancestors, and as complex as wanting to know what of them besides looks might live on in me. 
     In the end, it is the quest to know these ancestors that propels me to overcome my reluctance to do a genealogy blog.  They have opened the doors, in some cases barely peeking through, while in others they have burst through demanding that I pay full attention and take note.  It seems they want to be known by me as much as I have longed to know them. They want their stories of heartache and joy, hardship and accomplishment to be discovered and told, their names to be called, their spirits to be honored.  No more silence, they seem to be saying, no more secrets.  Now is the time to reclaim and reconnect with my father’s people, my people.  I will do my best to answer the ancestors’ call.

11 comments:

  1. You did more than just answer their call, you responded with a great first post. Continue to "reclaim and reconnect", because you are certainly honoring them by telling their story/journey.

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  2. If you EVER questioned whether or not you belong in AAGSAR with us -- your 1st narrative clearly answers that question! Your journey is our journey too. The quest you defined is the same road we ALL travel. Your Ancestors have called & I am VERY proud of you for answering! Well done!:)

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  3. That was Great M.Dawn! I can't wait for your Family to respond! and hear more stories. That was Cleansing!

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  4. Beautifully written. You are the one to tell their stories.

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  5. This is a great first post. Beautiful! Enjoy your journey and your blogging.

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  6. M. Dawn, I'm so excited that you responded to the call!! Excellent first post and your blog is truly beautiful too. THANK YOU so much for being a part of AAGSAR and welcome to the world of genealogy blogging!

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  7. Great post. Not everyone has the stories, etc., though it does seem tht way. I began my research (many years ago) largely in part of that same absence, so you are not alone. :)

    Looking forward to reading more.

    Renate
    www.justthinking130.blogspot.com

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  8. Daddy's girls loves attention, of cousre he is our primary relationship! I'm oñ a journey to the ancesteral spirit, see you on the other side!

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  10. Thanks so much everyone for your encouraging comments. They help to spur me on to do my best by the ancestors.

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