Monday, February 15, 2016
Slouching Down The Rabbit Hole
The entire weekend was spent working on my family tree. For long stretches I'll abandon the task, usually after hitting what appears to be a dead end, and I welcome the respite from the past as invariably the research becomes obsessive. Hours spent poring over leads and details, teasing out the right Symon Grant living and dead in 16th century Warwickshire. On both my mother's and father's sides of the family, there are major branches that reach far back, and despite there being little more than names and dates on church registries from centuries gone, it still excites me to no end to be able to go back one more generation and think of how their world was. And the starkness of it. This happened when I discovered that one of my ancestors lost his mother at age 8, and then his father 8 more years later. He was the oldest of three children, and an orphan at 16, it was the middle of the 18th century in England...How on earth did they survive? I can't say that the three of them did survive, but my ancestor did, and he lived a long life. His wife did not, and left him with two young children to raise alone, as there is no record of him remarrying. I wonder if his mother or wife (or both) died in childbirth and that effected the way he felt about remarrying. I don't know, and barring ever finding a long lost diary kept by him three hundred years ago, I can never truly know.