What started out as a “free trial” became the beginning of my love affair with Ancestry.com, and as far as I can see we won’t be breaking up any time soon. Over the past two years I have spent countless hours searching for documents, connecting ancestors, and building my family trees. In the beginning I was basically connecting names of people I’m related to. But over time, and most definitely now, they have become more than just names to me. With each birth, marriage, census, and even death record added to the timeline of their life they have each become someone I know a little better. Beneath the records are the circumstances of their lives, and with each new discovery I am more aware that I am here because of them.
Ancestry.com has made building your family tree so much fun. You can add pictures, comments, and information to each ancestor, not to mention all the historical documents that are available right there at your fingertips. Each time I see the faces of my ancestors in my tree my excitement and satisfaction for what I have uncovered is renewed.
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As you can see from my tree above, each one of my ancestors is a stepping stone on the way to me. Having a visual example to see just where I have come from helps to keep my life in perspective. It helps me to be grateful for my stuggles and challenges of life but to also find joy.
With a closer look into the lives of my sixteen great grandparents, each one of them faced the grief, heartache, and trials of life. Each and every one of them experienced at least one of the following: being widowed at a young age, the disappointment of divorce, the indescribable heartache from the death of one child or more, being struck with diseases that are preventable today, leaving their homeland and family to come to America in search of a better life. But somehow they persevered and hopefully found joy in spite of the hard things they went through.
I have personally never faced any of the trials they did, but I have had unique trials of my own. They were each able to overcome such hard things in their lives, and I like to imagine them near me cheering me on through mine. I am grateful that through Ancestry.com I have been able to build and add to my family tree. I love this website and can’t say enough good things about it. If you haven’t experienced Ancestry.com yet…sign up today. You won’t regret it.