2023.03.29 – The Joys and Frustrations of Genealogy


The Grumpy Old Man on the Joys and Frustrations of Genealogy

As a student of genealogy, I have experienced a range of emotions in my search for my extended family.

On one hand, there is the thrill of discovering new relatives and learning more about my family’s past. On the other hand, there are the frustrations of hitting dead ends and encountering unexpected obstacles.

One of the greatest joys of genealogy has been finding two daughters I never knew I had. This led to wonderful connections with them and their families, bringing new joy and richness to my life.

Another joy is simply talking to family members and learning more about our shared history. Amazing stories and information can be uncovered through conversations with relatives, and I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with my family in this way.

Of course, there are also frustrations. One exasperating example is my inability for many years to find a marriage license for my parents. This missing piece of information serves as a reminder that sometimes, despite our best efforts, we may not be able to find all the answers we’re looking for.

The discovery of the truth about my namesake, Pat, who spent nine years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, has been a bittersweet revelation. While it’s heartbreaking to learn of this injustice, it has also given me a greater appreciation for the resilience of my family.

But in addition to joys and frustrations, genealogy can also bring humorous discoveries, such as discovering I am related to a King in England, albeit not a well-known one. Or, even more amusingly, discovering that I am a descendant of a person named Eric who claimed to be the son of Odin. It’s a reminder that while genealogy is a serious pursuit, it can also be fun and quirky.

In conclusion, genealogy is a pursuit that can bring great joy and satisfaction, but also moments of frustration and confusion. Whether it’s discovering new relatives, learning about the family, or hitting roadblocks in our search, the ups and downs of genealogy are all part of the process. And through it all, we gain a greater appreciation for the people and stories that make up our family tree.

Pat Smart

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