Who’s To Blame?

Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings has posted this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. The prompt for this week is as follows:

1) Read Brenda Joyce Jerome’s post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog. She asks these questions:

* Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information?

* Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off?

* Did your interest stem from your child’s school project on genealogy?

* If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.

2) Write your responses on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a note or comment on Facebook.

I can’t exactly identify one person who started my interest in genealogy. I remember going to family reunions for my paternal grandmother’s family, the descendants of Thomas J CORRIGAN, and meeting all kinds of people who were supposedly related to me. I never really took interest in the family tree stuff there, but I was pretty young at the time. Problem solving, for some reason, has always been somewhat easy for me and depending on what problem I’m solving it can also be fun. This is probably the main reason I enjoy genealogy so much. It’s a very personal problem to solve and it involves lots of information and logic. To be honest, I don’t remember a genealogy project in school. If I did do one, I guess I didn’t save it. When looking through some of the files my mother gave me, I also don’t see any trees my brothers did. Maybe our school district didn’t do it.

I became interested specifically in genealogy in about 1999. Two different events prompted me to look more into my personal history. First, my grandfather, Richard ZALEWSKI, passed away in April 1999 and then a few weeks later I read an article in our local paper about FamilySearch.org. It was about how much traffic the site received when it first opened, which took the site offline. This event is also mentioned on the FamilySearch Wikipedia entry, “May 1999: Website first opened to the public. It almost immediately went off-line, overloaded because of extreme popularity.”

Those two events happening pretty close to each other made me think of my personal history and how I should probably at least do some basic digging before I lose my other grandparents. Thankfully, all three of my other grandparents are still with us. As with most genealogists, this basic digging just wasn’t enough. I opened Pandora’s Box, so to speak.

On my paternal grandmother’s CORRIGAN side of the tree, I did receive a lot of research that was already done by my great-granduncle, Edwin CORRIGAN, and other family members for the family reunions we had. My paternal ZALEWSKI line was barely touched as was my maternal side of the tree, so I did have a lot of work cut out for me. Many thanks to my parents and grandparents for giving me the information I needed. It turns out a lot of it was around, just not organized like it is now.

Now, it’s my job to plant the seed into my daughter’s life (and possibly other children if that happens) and let them run with it. Maybe in 20 years she’ll do a blog post, or whatever crazy thing is around then, about me.

About Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.

Additional Resources

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In 27 days, on April 2nd, the sixteenth census of the United States, the 1940 US Census, will be released to the public. Due to privacy laws, the census reports are released to the public 72 years after they’ve been taken. The last one, the 1930 US Census, was released back in 2002. 1940 is not […]

Comments

  1. Genealogy can be a wonderful additive holiday. I love the hunt. Will be back to read more of your postings. Grace
    grace´s last post ..Treasure Chest Thursday Old Family Photos

  2. In my late 50s, I decided there was more to our family history than the smidge I knew… so I began researching. Big burst of enthusiasm when I went through my maternal grandmother’s old trunk at my sister’s just before she moved… “Oh it’s just some of her junk – you can take it” – and I found her own grandfather’s “Souvenir Album” containing photos (unlabeled & undated, of course), plus a skeleton pedigree chart my greatuncle had done in order to join The Holland Society (they were Terwilligers), and there were all those interesting names: Buell, Graves, Terwilliger, Kuhn, Treat, and more. I was hooked forever, and now I’m teaching others and getting them hooked too! Cheers – Celiacelialewis