My Mom the Historian

It’s been a while since my last post.  With the craziness of Residence Life training, I’ve found myself constantly on the go.  It is nice to be able to sit down and do a bit of refreshing writing before the semester kicks into high gear.

This past year, my mother has taken a serious interest in her heritage.  She knows that she has Royal blood and some Native American blood in her family’s history, and has been very curious about her family’s past escapades.  It has been thrilling to see her go about this research.

What started out as a simply looking on a 7 day free trial website quickly escalated into searching for census records.  As she found items in past censuses, she also began researching what different symbols meant, and what the censuses could actually say and imply about her family.  She learned what hand some of her ancestors wrote with, what towns they lived in, and any siblings they had that she did not know about.

Then more recently, while at the Centre County Grange Fair, my mom took a trip to a local library/archive to search the records.  She found out that her family came over from England in the 1880s, and now she is trying to figure out from where they came, and why they were sent to America (because apparently they were exiled).  She found all the newspaper articles about a family member that was killed in a barfight, and the archivist gave her other suggestions of where to keep looking.  She may be taking a trip up to New York because she thinks the family either came to America from New York or Philly/Baltimore (sorry I can’t remember which one).  It was funny before she went to the archive, I gave her the advice I could remember about visiting archives from my Historical Methods class.  Sounds like things went well for her.  It is very cool to see my mom actively engaging in her own past, and to do so from the perspective of a truthseeker.  I think some of the stuff she thought about her family, has been changed through further discovery of evidence.

I’m looking forward to finding more about my heritage through her, and I look forward to her finished work (maybe I could assign her a paper to write about her family heritage?).  I think this is just such a powerful example of someone, who isn’t a history major, but still has a desire to learn from the past, and actively engages in it.

Whelp, I’m back off to training, so until I talk to you again!



Christian, Lover of History, Aspiring Teacher

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Some Of The History We Write, Stories Of Other Historians, Teaching History
One comment on “My Mom the Historian
  1. […]  Dr. Fea points to our “popular quest to discover our roots,” and I am reminded of my mom who is searching to develop more of her identity by researching more about our family’s […]

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