Bonnie has an assignment for AP History. She is to find out when her ancestors came to America and what was happening at that time in American history. She figured that this should be an easy assignment since we have genealogist in the family who have already mapped everything out. All she had to do was copy their work and put it on a poster board. Ha Ha.... She had no clue how intricate a family tree is.
Knowing the complexity of a family tree I contacted two of my cousins whose hobby is to trace our family lines to see if they could help Bonnie out. My cousin, Travis, on my dad's side gave Bonnie a list that linked her pawpaw (my dad) to Stephen Hopkins who came over on the Mayflower. Cool! My cousin, Julie, has mapped out my mom's side of the family. She gave me name after name going back to the kings and queens of Scotland, Vikings, the crusades, you name it. What she didn't give me was dates and when all of these people made their way to America. So I joined ancestry.com and began putting everyone's info into the family tree. To help with the process I had a family newsletter that my Aunt Itsy, mom's oldest sister, had put together with family birthdates, death dates, marriages, etc. Slowly, I am making my way back into the past and have found several lines of family members who have traveled from Scotland and England to America. It seems that a few lines came to America right at the time of the American Revolution and fought for America.
It has been quite a journey and I am finally getting a clear picture of my family roots. My biggest revelation last night was who my Great Grandpa Jimmy was. I have heard my mom and her sisters talk about Grandpa Jimmy but had no clue of who he was. It turns out my mom's grandparents divorced and my mom's grandmother, Ollie O'Bryant Meeks, remarried James (Jimmy) Cranfill, i.e. Grandpa Jimmie. Now I know....
Leaves are popping up all over my family tree on ancestry.com. I have a lot of exploring to do this summer and I can't wait to find out more.