Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#AtoZChallenge: G is for Genealogy

 G is for Genealogy
I LOVE doing genealogy. I was introduced to genealogy through a 4H project when I was nine years old. I interviewed my grandparents and other members of their generation then took their information and placed what I learned into the family tree. The more I learned about my family the more I wanted to know more. Genealogy isn't just about filling names and dates into a family tree. Sure, that's an important part of it but what I love the best about it are the family stories.

When I started my 4H project my grandparents were excited that I had an interest in learning more about the family. My grandpa Carr challenged me to find his true birthdate. My grandfather had been a toddler when his mother had died in a kitchen fire. 
Grandpa Carr and his siblings were sent to a children's home. When he was placed in the children's home they had recorded his birthdate as Jun 19, 1926. He and his sister argued for years as to the birthday. Aunt Mary had always claimed the year was wrong. She had been born April 19, 1923. There was no way he could have been born in 1926 because their brother, Clarence was older. The brothers were close in age but Aunt Mary was convinced that Grandpa Carr was older then Uncle Clarence. Grandpa Carr argued that he was the youngest of the three children and had insisted the birthdate was correct. Why wouldn't they be right? The adults who had placed them in the home had to know their real birth dates. Didn't that? He argued that all the official records showed he had been born in 1926 and that was good enough for him. But he was missing one thing to verify the accounts from the children's home, his birth certificate. 
The first year of my genealogical project had searched long and hard to find my grandfather's birth certificate with no luck. I had found his Army records from WWII and they gave me a hint as to what year to look at. I showed them to my grandfather but he argued that the Army had messed up on the records. Aunt Mary wasn't convinced that the military had messed up.  I continued my search. The following year I hit the jackpot. I found his birth certificate. 

Freeland Devere Carr was born................

June 23, 1924!

Aunt Mary had won the disagreement. Grandpa Carr didn't like that his birth certificate had shown that date because it made him two years older than what he had been lead to believe his entire life.  His tombstone shows his birth year as 1926 but all the other records show 1924. 











6 comments:

  1. I think the stories are what makes our family history come alive too. That's pretty amazing that all those years he never sent for a birth certificate! Good for you solving that mystery.

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    1. Thank you. It's something I will never forget.

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  2. Genealogy is so interesting. It's fascinating to see who came before us and discover the stories they had. I've never taken the time to do much exploration of my own family tree, but I have relatives who have done a lot and published materials about the family. I'm actually vice president of one of my family genealogy groups, but I don't do anything which is kind of sad I guess.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. I use the stories I learn in my writings. There is just so much inspiration one can glean from so many life stories.

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  3. Interesting story. Thanks for sharing! My aunt is really in to genealogy. She has found relatives all over the world. It's really neat stuff!

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    1. I love the way it connects families together. I've found some pretty amazing family members I would have never met without the use of ancestry.com and the social networks.

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