In a previous post, I explained that my focus is more on heritage than on lineage. In my view, those are two parts of the whole that is genealogy. Some people apparently concentrate on the names and dates and who begat whom without thinking very much about the people behind those names and dates. I need to know the names and dates and begats because I want to learn who my ancestors were.
My intent is to be a family historian. I am descended from Polish peasants. They may seem trivial in the broad scope of history, but like modern farmers and laborers, they were the backbone of their nation – providing the food and goods and services that keep things going.
Where and how did they live? What was life like for them in the 18th and 19th centuries? What was life like in the US for my immigrant ancestors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
One of my fantasies is a time machine that would let me go back and observe. My maternal grandmother was a goose girl – she tended the geese on the family farm. It would be wonderful to be able to see that farm and watch her as a child with her flock. I guess I’ll have to settle for learning by reading and studying to try to get a hint of my distant past.