Wednesday, February 20, 2013
In deciding what to write in this week’s column, I Googled my own name and discovered that nearly everything about me on the Internet is related to my work in journalism. Not surprising, I guess, since I’ve been in this profession for a long time.
But then I went a step further and Googled my parents only to discover that there was quite an extensive record about both of them on a number of websites. I also discovered that a great deal of the information had been posted by a distant cousin and to a lesser degree by my younger sister.
I knew, of course, that my sister was involved in tracing our ancestry, but since I had lost touch with my cousin many years ago I was unaware that she was even more involved.
However, what really surprised me was that a number of photos of my ancestors I never knew existed had also been posted on various sites. There were photos of my maternal grandfather in his early 20s and even some of his childhood photos taken in the late 1800s. And, while I have never been one to get very involved in finding out about the people that I descended from, it was fun seeing what my grandfather looked like when he was a child.
I barely remember my maternal grandfather since I was only seven when he died. And, while I remember my maternal grandmother very well since she lived a lot longer, I have almost no memory of my dad’s mother and none of his father since he died more than a decade before I was born.
And while I know a little more about my mother’s ancestry, I’m a long way from being well versed about the people that are ultimately responsible for my existence.
I do know that the farm I grew up on has been in my mother’s family since before the Civil War and that it was originally owned by an ancestor with last name of Eck who immigrated to this country from Germany.
I also know that my mother’s maternal grandparents were named Thompson and that her grandfather fought in the Civil War and was for a time incarcerated in Andersonville Prison in Georgia.
But even that tiny bit of information is a great deal more than I know about my dad’s family.
I do know by dad’s parents were Lucy J. and William D. Logsdon and that she was born in Kentucky and he was born in northern Missouri. However, I have no idea how or when they got together and I know absolutely nothing about their parents.
Still the most surprising thing about checking out all those websites on which my ancestors were listed wasn’t how little I know about them, but rather how many other people around the country have been researching them, too. Apparently I have a whole bunch of relatives I didn’t even know existed.
Maybe I need to spend a little time quizzing my sister about some of the information she has gleaned through her ancestry research. I might just be amazed at what I learn.