Thursday, September 01, 2005

Climbing the Family Trees

First things first. On the left are the two bosses.

Their official registrations came in today from the Universal Kennel Club. Being a genealogist, I couldn't resist ordering a 3-generation chart along with their registration. Their certificate of pedigree looks just like mine, printed in tree format on parchment. Mojo has great-grandmothers named "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Pocket of Freckles". Coco's include "Tuck 'Um Up" and "Hi Beam Dixie". She also has a military ancestor, "General George".

Today was the day for family trees in more areas than one. At long last I received a Hodge genealogy book that has been in development for about two years. This is the second Hodge genealogy to be published this year and I had the satisfaction of straightening out a long standing mis-interpretation of facts that had appeared in earlier versions of these books. So nice to be able to share photos and information from the long lost Texas branch of the family, and to be thanked in print. Makes me feel like I know what I'm doing.

Earlier this week I subscribed to a new service that includes many old newspapers and I unearthed one of those tiny family scandals that hit the Dallas paper. This situation involved a very distant relative, but I had him in my charts so I found it interesting back story for my records.

And Lana and I started planning next year's family research trip, which should send us on a road trip through Indiana and Illinois and allow us to visit more ancestral resting places. Only a genealogist could get excited about a trip focused on visiting cemeteries. Can't wait for April to get here so we can get started.

So the focus is on family this week. Including the extended branches that are of the furry persuasion. I've been thinking of all the family memorabilia and photos that are in my possession and thinking how devastating it would be to lose them.

I cannot fathom the losses of property and family members that have been suffered by the poor folks in New Orleans. And I mourn all the pets that were lost. I spent a lot of time over the past two years researching the disaster in Texas City in 1947. During the course of my research, I also studied some of the history of the great hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900. One day life is normal, the next day life is forever changed. It really puts into perspective what is important. What if it was all gone tomorrow? What would be the greatest loss?

To that end, I'm beginning to consider what should be done with my collection of family data and memorabilia. Maybe it's time to ponder publishing my own family histories. One flood, one tornado, one fire, and 30 years of work could be lost, not to mention generations of photos and heirlooms.

It's time to ponder. Where do I go from here? First I'm going to go hug my furry children and be thankful they are safe and sound. Then I'm going to write a check to the Red Cross and/or an animal rescue organization to help the Katrina victims. And then I'm going to get back to work and figure out a way to share my family's history. Because tomorrow may be too late.


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