Monday, March 16, 2009

Following a Mania

For the last three days, I've worked enormous numbers of hours on an unlikely-for-me project: a bit of genealogy that I'm turning into a riveting story of one line of my family: the Tuckers and Woffords. Months ago my mother gave me a folder about her father's family, a bunch of bits and pieces, and said, "Here you take this." So I decided to flesh it out, and finally got serious on Saturday and am trying to get it ready to mail to Mom in time for her 87th b'day this weekend.

Inevitably, answering a few questions led me to a few more questions and I took the research back 200 more years, into the late 1500s in England--and quite a number of juicy details. Now I see why people do this. It satisfies the lifelong need created by reading Nancy Drews.

Joseph Campbell advises: "Follow your bliss." I take that to mean being really committed to the pursuuits that are really important to me; and I've structured my life to be able to do that. But this has a sudden fire to it that says: Do this now! Don't stop! Don't eat! It's exciting. And, as of this moment, exhausting.

Have you had this experience? And did it involve chasing ancestors? I'm more measured about writing books and articles, I've been doing it so long. It's nice to feel this kind of fire. Wipe-out refreshing.

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Debra W said...

Peggy, what an interesting project and such a lovely gift for you Mom's birthday! What day was your Mom born? I'm asking because my second daughter, Rachel, and you share the same birthday and this weekend is my third daughter's birthday. How strange would that be if your Mom and my third daughter have the same birthday, as well? Gabriella's birthday is March 20 (first day of Spring) and she will be 17. Only eighty years after your Mom!

I love the project that you are working on and would love to hear more about it. I would love to chase some of my ancestors but I don't have too much to go on. I have a lot of wonderful photos which I cherish. I should try to do some research because there is so much that I don't know. My family has a nasty habit of becoming estranged from one another and so there are a lot of loose ends. I would love to be able to tie them together. What methods are you using to get your information? I know the internet is a huge resource!

Peggy Payne said...

Debbie, I just posted an update on this project that has some links to ancestry websites. I'm so new at this that I really don't know a lot.

You might really enjoy the exploration. I'm finding it wildly exciting.

And on the birthday comparison: we only missed by a day. Mom was born on March 21.