Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Family History Month - ZEST

~ Today's prompt is brought to you by the letter Z ~

Webster's Dictionary defines zest as "an invigorating or keen quality, spirited enjoyment, relish."   I have a zest for genealogy.  I enjoy the unknown puzzle, the research, the libraries and the archives.  I enjoy reading through old records, meeting with extended family members and learning about the mosaic that is my family. 

My family is a combination of Irish, Norwegian, Austrian/Slovenian, and Swedish.  For the past five years (on and off) I have researched these countries and the particular counties or provinces where my ancestors originated.  I have a zest for learning the geography, history and cultural background of each of these areas.  I have a zest for attending seminars and conferences with other genealogists ~ people who are genuinely interested in my research and willing to share their tips to make my search easier. 

I don't know about you but once I started working on my family history and trying to piece together the puzzle that is my genealogy I got "it." What is "it?" 
  • It is finding your ancestors in passenger manifests, censuses, county land records, voting records, and city directories. 
  • It is finding an account of your great-grandparents' town complete with handwritten maps showing their homes, schools, and fishing areas. 
  • It is finding photographs of any of your ancestors. 
  • It is corresponding with a church office and having the minister or priest get back in touch with information about family marriages, baptisms and confirmations. 
  • It is finding your Swedish ancestors in Genline records and then corresponding via DISbyt with current extended family in Sweden. 
  • It is finding your Norwegian ancestors in the bygdebok (Norwegian farm books) for their area and being able to place them at a specific farm, learn what church they attended, find their vital records and follow their trip to Canada and later the United States. 
  • It is finding out where your great-grandmother was buried and being able to make the trip to the cemetery. 
  • It is being able to answer someone's questions and help them with the genealogy. 
  • It is the thrill of the search and the knowledge that your people will be honored and remembered through your database, scrapbook, book or blog.
Hopefully, your genealogy provides you with enjoyment, is invigorating, and adds a bit of flavor to your life ~ much like the zest of a lemon adds a little flavor to a recipe.  Cheers!

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