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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Re: We Are The Chosen
In Response To: We Are The Chosen ()

This journey called genealogy has opened my mind SO much more than I could have bargained for. My interested started at the mere age of 6, looking at a family tree that my cousin put together. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. How many of my friends could say they knew the name of their ggggrandfather? Some of the stories and anecdotes about generations past?

At age 21, I decided to continue the project my cousin started in 1985. He only really included our line of the family, and there were multitudes more that he couldn't get information for. Ironically, some of those other lines had already compiled something or had a historian. All I had to do was ask for what they had and it was done. At first, I didn't go further into the older research, I just tracked current deaths and births. Last September, I decided that I would delve more into the older research and gather more information than was previously received.

When I complied the 1985 tree, and the lists from the other lines I had 448 people. To date, the family file is to 705. I couldn't have done this had I not taken the risk and made phone calls to absolute strangers who happened to be relatives. I had to call people who had been branded "evil and mean" only to have wonderful conversations with them once they found out who I was.

I spent hours upon hours documenting every single census record available to me on my relatives just so someone who is three years old now would know what, where, and how their great grandparents were doing in 1920. I even tracked the small details of the census such as the farm schedules number, value of property, schooling, age, location. I did this so someone wouldn't have to go back over my work to figure out where I got the information from; they could start from where I left off. To date, our family report is 73 pages with over nine generations of family members.

I've had to navigate through troubles too. Should we include stepkids? What about this or that controversy? After some thought, and prayer, I thought we should do nothing but tell the truth because somebody deserves to know. We can't go on in our lives lying and covering up for people. If someone's cause of death was murder or suicide, it's listed. If someone was a diagnosed schizophrenic, it's listed. If someone had asthma and allergies, it's listed.

I've also included in this project, some new ones. From now on I will be tracking health history, education and maintaining a picture archive for all the family. We all deserve to know what we may be susceptible to, how accomplished we are and what people looked like all at the same time. :) Just in my research over the last year, our average life span has gone down 4 years. We ought to know why.

Just recently I was told that I have been given 30 minutes at our reunion banquet in three weeks to talk about all of this. If only one person is excited about it, that's all I need! :)

Regardless...I'm glad I have all of this to share with you all. It's a journey and a process that I will never forget :) We truly are chosen for this...

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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