Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Search For My Irish Roots, Part 1

The Beginning

My personal search for my Irish ancestors has taken over 30 years of digging, scrounging, reading, learning, traveling, and taking wild leaps of faith. I have talked to dozens or relatives, hundreds of people, and traveled from one coast to the other. I have spent hundreds of hours in little dark rooms with my head buried in microfilm machines. I have seen more libraries than I can remember, and have looked through (and yes in some cases read) so many books that I could not begin to count them. I have spent hundreds of hours online and hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars in my never-ending quest. And best of all, I even managed to find a wife along the way. But that is another story.

My search started as a young boy listening to stories about the family told by my grandparents. They were not stories of brave deeds or fantastic exploits. They were just what I call the stories of life. I will not bore you with the details of my family stories, suffice it to say that if you changed the names and dates they could be any family's stories.

Now the stories told by my grandparents may not have been worthy of a Hollywood Blockbuster but as a child I was hooked. I could not get enough. I always wanted more. So being the strange kid that I was, I set off for the local museum.

I was fortunate as a budding genealogist that my family had lived in the same small town of St Marys Ontario, since about 1859. This made the search a little easer for a beginner as the museum had lots of newspapers and cemetery records to keep me happy, at least for a while. It was at the local Museum that I received my first of what would be many genealogical surprises. There in the 1861 census was my GGG Grandfather William Massey, a native of Ireland. Ireland? My family was Irish?

To be continued.........

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