My father grew up in a Norman Rockwell postcard. His mother was a stay-at-home mom, his father was a rural mailman, they had six kids. But how did we get to be these people? We came from Europe and landed in Iowa. But why did we land in Iowa? And, more importantly, who was there before us?
Learning how "we" got to be the people we are; how "we" got here, wherever that is; why "we" landed where we did, whether Massachusetts, Utah, or New Hampshire, and not somewhere else; and who was there before us, well, those are the basic questions that constitute my interest in my family tree. That is why I do what I do; not merely to put a name before "...my (x)th great-grandmother," but to learn something about her, her family, her neighbors, what was happening in her world, why she made what would have been an expensive, arduous journey, and how it eventually influenced and impacted my own journey. Of course, I have specific questions:
- When and why did my Utah ancestors end up there?
- Where did they start from and why did they leave?
- Who was the first Latter-day Saint in my tree and why did that person choose that specific Christian denomination?
- All my LDS ancestors were all followers, but did that first one know Joseph Smith personally?
- Do I have a relative that came over on the Mayflower ship?
- If not, which ship brought those early ancestors and were they related to any of the Mayflower passengers?
- What kept my Salem, Massachusetts, ancestors from being hung as witches...or were some of them?
What is yours?