Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November A Month to be Thankful

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. ~Shirley Abbott

Which ancestor are you the most thankful for? Why?

Well that is a very waited and difficult question! Before I can answer this I wonder, what is the "technical" definition of an ancestor?

Ancestor:  A person from whom one is descended, especially if more remote than a grandparent; a forebear. (As defined in the American Heritage Dictionary)

Based on this I guess I would say that I'm most thankful for my great grandfather; Fred Haskins.  Why?  Well I could say many different people but I am thinking of this in the context of my genealogy research.  For whatever reason, Fred didn't tell us much about our family, especially the Haskins side.   This has made my genealogy detective work challenging, fun and exhilerating. 

Because of Fred...
  1. I have better genealogy skills.
  2. I have spent eight years looking for his father and finally found him.  What a rush that was!
  3. I have quested to learn all I can about his ancestors.  I have tracked the family line in the US back to 1630 and learned that my ancestors were founding fathers of Windsor, CT
  4. I have learned how to request military records; I was able to get Semour Haskins, my 4th great grandfather's records from the War of 1812.
  5. I have learned a great deal about Dutchess county, NY especially the town of Amenia.  I have been there three times and LOVE to eat at Three Brother's Pizza.
  6. I have learned how to track down and request primary documents to use as sources. One being his birth certificate which revealed he spent most of his life saying he was a different age than he actually was.
  7. I have learned how to use city directories as a great resource for learning about your family tree.  Fred was born in Rochester, NY @ 118 Thompson, Ward 9.
  8. I ended up taking a wonderful family vaction to the Conneticut shore.  I would never have gone there if I wasn't looking for his father's (George Henry Haskins) grave.
  9. I have become the family genealogy expert, which has included being passed down all of the old family photos.  What an honor -  Thanks Aunt Es.
  10. I have met many very helpful kind people in the world of genealogy whom I wouldn't know as much about my family without them.
This is a picture of Fred, myself, my brother and a cousin at a backyard picnic.

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