Thursday, April 10, 2014

Family History

At long last I finally logged in to I've been thinking about doing it for some time now. Of course, as you know, the road to perdition is paved with good intentions. You only get credit for action, not intention.

Until recently I was operating under the assumption that there is little work to do in my genealogy. Many years ago my Grandpa Cornwall (my mom's family) gave me a family tree chart that he had made. After his retirement he repurposed his drafting table for this work instead of the building plans that had covered it for decades. The chart he gave me was on a huge architectural sheet. It went back well into the 1700s and stretched across many current families. Of course, I never appreciated the amount of effort that went into that chart.

Like I said, that great chart gave me the impression that genealogical work in my ancestry was essentially complete. It is true that I am very much the beneficiary of generations of faithful people. But it's just like they say, if it looks simple you're probably not looking close enough.

Today I have been introduced to genealogical fan charts. Byron told me about them so I decided to look mine up. Here's what mine looks like:

Unless you click on it, you can't really read it. But, even when you're not zoomed in, you can see that there are no empty slots. Empty slots mean incomplete work.

See, it's all done. Nothing more to do. At all.

Now lets look closer. In this fan chart I'm at the center. What if I place my great grandfather at the center? I Remember the funeal of Julius Edmund Kruger (my dad's family). He died in March of 1985, which means I had just turned five. That is the first funeral to which I can attach actual memories. I remember discussing it with my brother at bedtime. We shared a basement bedroom at the time. I don't remember which brother it was. It's a vague memory.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. Here's his fan chart:

It looks more like a wheel of swiss cheese. Suddenly my complacent argument that all my family's work had been done is full of to speak. His wife, Lina Martha Otto, is even worse off.

The work is cut out for us. I'm happy I have started looking into


At 7:27 AM, Blogger Haymonds said...

Good for you, Tom! I feel the same way--many aunts and relatives who work on this stuff, so my fan is complete, but same story--go back a generation or two and it starts to get gappy, depending on who it is. Now, if I could just figure out what to do NEXT....:)


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