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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

I've just finished my very well appreciated break from my blog, the daily routine of school and homework for my children, and even managed to get away from the house a bit.  The holidays are always fun.  Even more loved by me is when they end on a high note and I can get back to my routine.  I must say that I never realized just how much I thrive in a routine.  I realized this once I had children and started in on their daily routine from the time that they were babies.  The routine has changed a number of times in the past almost 7 years but it a comfortable place to be once you've got it down.  It gives me something to look forward to everyday with some predictability.

I am presented with the somewhat mundane question on what was routine for my ancestors.  Did they thrive and appreciate their routine?  What was daily life like in the 1600s, 1700s, or 1800s for my Flanagan's living in Termonfeckin, Ireland?  What was life like for my McLaughlin's in Newport, New York of the 1830s?

The true answer to these questions may never really be nailed down.  The reason being is that I can't go back in time and personally experience what their lives were like.  What I can do is get a peek at who they were through working on my family tree.  My peek includes anything from anecdotal stories to photographs or even looking over the length of an individual's life span.  There are so many angles to work when it comes to finding and learning about your family roots.

I have continued to gather information about my family lines.  Just when I've thought all hope has been lost on some lines, I receive information from others who generously take their time to send their research, photographs, or other research materials.  It is amazing and I love the gift of information.  These "gifts" are certainly not lost on me.

For 2012, I think that I will change my terminology a bit from "sharing" to "gifts".  In the past, I have used sharing as a word to describe the exchange of information.  I have realized that you can't expect everyone to share or have the time to do so.  This year I am going to call the information sharing a "gift" since it can come at the most unexpected time.  Gifts are special, not expected typically, and provide such surprise and delight to the receiver but also the gift giver.  The gift of information offered or received is part of what genealogy is all about for me.

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