I cannot tell you how fascinating this is. Some nights, after work, I take a peek, and then three hours later I’m still searching. I believe I am addicted to Ancestry.com.

I cannot tell you how fascinating this is. Some nights, after work, I take a peek, and then three hours later I’m still searching. I believe I am addicted to Ancestry.com.

This website is the most exciting to search. It allows you to explore your family’s history while illuminating the past.

Over the years, when I have had the time, I have always enjoyed digging into our family history. I have hung onto the family genealogy sheets for decades.  
In fact, it has been 35 years since I started to dig.

However, with the technological advancements, there is so much information available. It’s hard to know where to begin.

Well, a few of my sisters and I have been searching for a great-great grandfather for some time. This has been a long road. His name was Bernard.

Our great grandmother, named Florence, was born in 1872. Her father’s name was Bernard and within a few years, after Florence’s birth, he disappeared. As a result, Florence’s mother married another man, Emanuel, and had a second son named Charles.

Whew!

We know that Florence had a father by the name of Bernard, because her father was listed on her death certificate.

Well, the other night I spent three hours searching the 1850, 1860 and 1870 censuses trying to locate Bernard. I couldn’t understand where and how they met. They didn’t have cars or cell phones back then.

While searching for Bernard, I surprisingly noticed that Florence’s mother was a house servant about the time that Florence was born. I thought that, perhaps, Florence’s father had died and mom had to farm Florence out as a servant across town.

It was called survival back then. And we think our lives are rough.

On a later census, after Florence was married, Florence’s mother was living with Florence and her husband. On the census, Florence’s mom was marked as a widow, which confirmed my feelings. I certainly hope I have not lost you.

While I was searching for Bernard, I gained such insight into my ancestors’ lives and their challenges.

Through these simple census and birth and death records, I read about our family line and their sorrows. These relatives were poor, farmed their children out for work, some divorced, many shared homes, and frequently their parents died due to simple diseases (easily remedied in our day).

My sisters and I have not found Bernard as of yet. However, we know that we will. He is simply living in a peaceful home, waiting for us to open yet another branch of our family tree.