Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Post, or How I Got Here

I've been doing genealogy for quite some time - at least 15 years, maybe more. I started with my paternal line. At the time, my mother was activly researching her roots, so there was no urgent need for me to do so; no need to duplicate the research, and I didn't have the same fire in my belly to learn about her side of the family.

If I had to hazard a guess as to the roots of my apathy, I'd have to say that my relative familiarity with my maternal family was the cause. My grandparents lived nearby (still do, to tell the truth), and I was close with my cousins on this side.  We even went to family reunions for both my grandfather's and grandmother's families most summers.  The Farleys, Currys, Queens and Napiers that populate the landscape of my maternal line just felt well known.

Not so my paternal lines. My father's family lived far enough away that we didn't see them very often. We might see them every few years, enough to maintain family ties but not much more. Also, I never had the opportunity to meet my paternal grandmother, as she died nearly a decade before I was born.

These McNally's were the unknown, a mystery, and I decided that like all mysteries, they needed unravelling.

By this time, my grandfather had also passed away, and the only of my great-aunts that I knew at all was in poor health, mentally as well as physically. Fortunately, a few years earlier, my sister had contemplated doing this research and had sent my great-aunt a letter requesting some basic genealogical information. My great-aunt's response ended up with my mother, who passed it on to me, along with a pedigree chart compiled by my mother from the information in that letter and anything else she happened to know. From there I was hooked.

And that was some 15-odd years ago. Since then, I've had my fair share of life changes - I met a wonderful young lady who also got interested in genealogy, and, who for reasons I might never understand, agreed to marry me. We lived in wedded bliss for nearly a decade, then almost a year ago, were blessed with the birth of our first child, my son.

This single momentous event forced me to reflect on why I participated in this curious pastime known as genealogy, what I hoped to gain from the pursuit of this knowledge about my roots. I knew in that moment that limiting my research to my paternal lines going forward would be insufficient. I took possession of my mother's files (which had sat dormant for some time) and asked my wife if she minded if I took over her files as well (she didn't). Like that, I went from one line (the German-Irish McNally/Miller/Wentz/Myers of my father's family, to four (my father's, plus my mother's Farleys and Queens, the Bones and Pruetts of my wife's father and the Kinders and Reegs of my wife's mother). Four times the work, but oh so worth it so my son would know where he comes from.

Then a few months ago, we found out that my son will be getting a brother or sister later this year.....

That's enough about how I got here, writing this blog. I hope to use this as a platform for sharing my research into the various lines I'm working on, as well as sharing stories and items of interest about those families.  I'll also be creating static pages for sharing more traditional information such as pedigrees, family sheets and biographies of various personages of note.  I'll probably also have a page dedicated to listing all of the surnames for each line. 

Welcome to my genealogical world.


  1. Congratulations on your blog. I started blogging last June. I need to make changes in mine. Enjoy. And thank you for starting to write.

  2. Thank you for the kind words. I've still got a lot to figure out, but I'm looking forward to the ride...

  3. Congratulations on your blog & your new additions !

  4. Congratulations on your blog. I look forward to reading more.

  5. Congratulations on your blog. I look forward to reading more.