July: Be Curious

July 01, 2017

As I was watching TV the other night a commercial came on.  People were reciting parts of the Declaration of Independence.  At first I thought, "Really - another political commercial.  Haven't we had enough!"  As the ad came to a close a sentence flashed on the screen.  "Everyone we've assembled here is descended from a signer of the Declaration of Independence."  It was an ad for Ancestry.com.  I got tears in my eyes.  I may be related to one of those guys too.  I should find out.

I love family and family stories.  When my kids were little they would always ask My Mr. B and me to tell them a story about when we were little.  They were curious about where they had come from.  A few years ago I decided to make a family wheel for my kids for Christmas.  To complete the wheel I needed five generations on both my side and My Mr. B's side.  One of my mom's sisters had gotten the genealogy bug years ago, so I was able to get more than enough on my grandfather's side.

My dad's cousin made genealogy his hobby and had shared his findings with me.  My luck just continued, as my sister-in-law had a book someone had made for My Mr. B's mother, where they had traced one side of her family line.

When I asked My Mr. B what his Dad's grandfather's name was, he didn't know.  He asked me if I knew what my great-grandfather's name was.  Of course I did - he was George Washington Burt, at one time one of the biggest landowners in the state of Montana.

My luck continued as I Googled My Mr. B's grandfather's name and found his great grandfather. That's about as far as luck would take me.  I already had an account with Familysearch.org.  I joined Myheritage.com,  Findmypast.com and Ancestry.com.  (There is a fee for Ancestry.com.)  It took some time, but finally I had the five generations I needed for my children's wheels.

The kids really liked them and they were curious to  know more.  My nieces have joined in the fun.  One has gathered old family photos and shares them with us on a family Facebook page.  Another searches on line and shares stories she's found.

These are some family texts we had going back and forth during Thanksgiving.  My daughter seems to be a little distressed at some of the findings.  Ha, ha!!

My niece, Naomi, and my daughter have both done the DNA testing. They want My Mr. B and me to do the same, so we can compare findings.  I think it would be special if My Mr. B and I had our own family wheel.  There's a problem though - I need five generations and I hit roadblocks on both of our lines.  It's been almost a year since I pulled out my worksheets.  I see names that have piqued my curiosity again.  My Mr. B has a couple of great grandfathers that had several wives - not at the same time, but as one would die, they would remarry.  So I need to get dates straight to figure out which wife was the mother of which children.  My grandmother's mother died when she was a young child, and both of her parents were born in Sweden.
My grandfather and his sister - and the goat.
It has been fun discovering other family stories.  I have a great-something-grandfather that was a doctor.   It is reported that at one time he saved the life of a General Houston of Texas.  Found a newspaper article about my grandmother's parent's wedding anniversary and party.  It listed all the children that had come back to celebrate with their parents.  One daughter couldn't make it because she was out west with her husband, who was fighting the Indians.

The Lucille Burt
My great grandfather had a yacht built for his family to stay on in the Gulf of Mexico to escape some of Montana's winter weather.

I am my mother's third child and my father's only child.  Does that sound confusing?  My mother was married four times and had a child with each of her first three husbands.  My dad remarried when I was in my 20's but never had any other children - that we know of.  He worked for an oil company and traveled the world and liked the ladies.

I am certainly his child, as you can see.  But do I have other siblings out there?  This month I am curious enough that I am going to do the DNA testing and dig deeper on my genealogy.  Those road blocks are coming down.  And who knows, maybe next Christmas I will present My Mr. B with a family wheel of his own.

Are you curious?  Who do you think you are?


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