Most of us have known the fun of an Easter egg hunt. Perhaps when we were children, some older family member made finding the eggs difficult by hiding them in the most unlikely (or most obvious) of places. And if we were especially lucky, the eggs might have had little treasures like candy, trinkets or money hidden inside them. That made finding them even more exciting!
But what if I told you there’s another kind of treasure hunt that can make the heart thump even more if we find something particularly special? The name of a previously unknown ancestor, for instance. They could be ordinary folks who tried to live the best way they knew how, or they may have had some kind of importance in history. Perhaps they lived near a site when a famous event took place.
Whoever my ancestors were and whatever they did, it never ceases to excite me when I find new names to add to my family tree. It gives me a pleasant thrill, even if I have no more information than their names. Because our family trees get bigger and bigger the farther back they go, it can be overwhelming at times. But then, I don’t think I’d want to reach a complete dead end on every branch and twig because the discovery is what is the most fun. One can find out so much about their own personal background through doing this. To think that if only one of these people had neglected to come together with their partner would mean that we wouldn’t be here right now… It makes one humble and grateful.
Personally, I am content with just researching direct ancestors, with an occasional research foray into their siblings if they were particularly interesting. I’m not so much into researching all the lines in my extended family from several hundred years ago. But I know there are many family researchers who enjoy digging this deeply. They are the ones who find even more deeply hidden Easter eggs!
Searching your past family history requires time, effort, and patience. But so much is available at the reach of the internet nowadays, that you basically don’t even have to get off the couch to hunt for them. Personal heritage can be much more satisfying than a dozen or so of plastic eggs.
What are some exciting discoveries you’ve made while delving into your family past?