Saturday, June 6, 2015

Finding A Lost Family History

Each year my U.S. History students have the option of researching their family history as their 4th Quarter project. Part of the project is to write a reflection or summary of the findings. This comes from a student with a unique situation. As an emancipated minor with no living relatives other than his estranged mother, I admit that I wasn't sure how much we could fill in the blanks. We started with just his father's name and date of death.

Family History Conclusions:
I have learned a lot from this project. Originally, I thought I was going to do the Individual in History project because I didn't even have my grandparents' names. However, using your knowledge and the power of the internet, something was unlocked that I thought would stay locked forever. It's like the commercial, except it was real.

All of the sudden, I was pulled into my family history and with every name, every place, photo, address, story, I got more and more interested until I was doing more of the Family History project than the Individual in History one. That's what was so cool. I was unlocking the past and it wasn't even required.

After leaving Windham this past summer, I felt disconnected. I had always felt this way. I never knew any relatives and never met anyone who knew any stories. After leaving the last real relative still around, I felt like I would never know who my family was. It didn't bother me much at first, but everyone should know a little of where they come from.

When this project started, it hit me again how little I knew and how sunken inside I felt. Now coming out the other side of the project, I feel so great. I learned so much that I thought would stay hidden from me forever. It has helped me accept how families can change and people can leave, die, or even become unreachable, but in the end, family is family. It is important to keep that in mind.

More about what we found

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