My love of history merged with a love of my family ancestry when I was in my teens. Instead of reading history books, articles, and websites that had already been researched and learning about people and places already discovered, I found myself enamored with uncovering people who no one knew. I loved digging for original documents, sources, or interviewing family members to find shreds of evidence that my ancestors actually existed. Every fact was a clue to their existance and bit by bit revealed their story. Our story. My story.
I learned about source documents and how to look for clues everywhere.
This was a hobby and my own personal hunt, so there were no rules. I could be researching Grandma Edith Jenks' marriage to Grandpa Harry one day and looking for the history of the scythe the next. (one of my ancestors invented it!)
These 'rabbit trails' as I like to call them, were not only fun and spontaneous, but they also went as far as I wanted to take them. Often, one will lead to another. And then another. And then...I find myself wrapped in a story. Something new and unexpected!
This blog is about those stories, about the roads I take to find them.
"...both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever be back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two (rabbit) trails diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- portion of 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost
*(rabbit) added by me.