Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My Family Forest

Recently I have been bitten by the bug. The genealogy bug that is. Since I began my new job as an archivist a couple of months ago, I thought I would take my newly acquired skills as a researcher and apply them to my own family history. Of course, this was supposed to be an impossible task. Apparently my family has tried for years to find this information. They did not have any luck. Which I find odd, since in about 2 hours I went back 10 generations.
Now, I know in the grand scheme of things, 10 generations is not very many. However, before that there were only 4 that was known. And we had no idea what there was before that. To find out that you have tons of information is very scary indeed. On one hand, it is great to know that there actually is information out there to be found. On the other hand, it just means more work.
To try and actually figure out all the names of all of these people is a monumental task. Trying to find all of the off-spring of your great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother is a tiring concept. Just on my little branch alone with the children of my great grandparents and all of their broods is enough to make your head dizzy!
Here is the thing. We are a true southern family. We were cotton farmers. Which meant lots of kids to help pick that cotton. Once upon a time, my ancestors had plantations which slowly migrated down the line to a string of share croppers. It is amazing to see that once upon a time my family, who is not the brightest bunch of lightbulbs on the pallet, came from such affluent backgrounds.
See, the only thing I can remember is being poor. My grandparents were poor. My parents were poor. Most of their siblings are the same way. They are all paycheck to paycheck kind of people. And as wonderful as all these people are, I wanted to be different. I am by no means wealthy, but I am a little different. Which I guess makes me the lone orange hanging on the apple tree. But, I'm ok with that.
Now knowing that my family was not always that way, they simply evolved into that, makes me see things a little differently. I now understand that just because you were raised that way does not mean that you will become the same kind of person that your parents were. If you look at many families, you will see dramatic differences between siblings. One will be the "good child" who lives right. Another will be the "bad sheep" and take the rough road of life. It is a choice that each individual makes for themselves.
The wonderful thing is that you can change. Change your point of view so that you no longer become the person that you were, but the person you want to be. You do not have to live in a mould because someone dictates that to you. Living life through Christ makes you become a better person, one that He wants you to be. No matter what your circumstances are, and what your family tree is......if Christ can turn water into wine, He can make a crabapple tree into a mighty magnolia.

1 comment:

mel said...

Awesome girly!