A few days ago I decided to dig into our family genealogy. I knew a bit about the Johnson side thanks to Momma’s first cousin who did research before the days of the internet. I knew less about the Creecy side and very little about the Tate/McGougan side other than at some point someone was scalped by an Indian. I remember being told about the Indian story but apparently no one else does (although I haven’t quizzed my sister, so maybe she does, but since she has a faded memory, probably not).
Let me just say right off—what an easy way to lose track of time. As I began to find clue after clue and unravel generation after generation, the whole thing became addictive. Sort of like working a crossword puzzle. I fill in one name which makes another name easier to discover. But I have a difficult time focusing on one particular tree branch and seem to jump branches a lot. Like a squirrel.
But the sheer possibilities, the idea of what might be found, is so intriguing.
Stumbling onto a photograph of my great-great-great grandfather and realizing he looked just like the Papa Creecy I knew was a chillbump moment for sure.
See what I mean?
Last night after finishing a great book yet not wanting to start another (because of that end-of-book mourning period thing), I thought I’d take another gander at my work-in-process family tree. And boy did I hit pay dirt. Actually, gold.
But first, let me explain how this website (Geni.com) works… if a certain family member (my great-great-grandmother Alice Johnson) is already connected to a tree compiled and researched by someone else (a long-lost cousin?), the tree populates like magic. And so as I followed one particular line from Momma to Nana to Grandpa Johnson to Great Grandma Johnson, before I knew it my family included a couple of Knights(!) and then a Count or two and then Eustace de Vesci, Surety of the Magna Carta, who sounded very important, and then on and on and on to…wait for it…
Charles II “The Bald”, (who apparently wasn’t bald, didn’t get along with his brothers because of a land squabble, and was crowned King of France by Pope John VIII on Christmas Day, 875),
Louis I the Pious (who initiated reforms and redefined the relationship between the Frankish empire and the papacy),
Charlemagne. (Aka Charles the Great and Charles I).
And look, the website gave me a tidy little flow chart because who other than a computer could keep track? (Sorry, if you’re viewing from a mobile device, you may not be able to read the names.)
The story doesn’t end with Charlemagne, but I had to stop and go to bed. And when I woke up this morning, I wondered where exactly our roots veered from Holy Roman Empire to Arkansas Rice Farming? I’m thinking things may have gone wildly off track around the time the Mallorys immigrated to the New World.
And what else is waiting to be discovered in my family tree?
So yes, I’m totally sold. Family genealogy is my new favorite thing.
[tweetthis]Charlemagne is my 35th great grandfather—as in Holy Roman Emperor fame. #genealogy #history #ancestry #JohnsonFamily[/tweetthis]
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. Have you done any work on your genealogy? I’d love to know.