The “Ancestor Approved” award was created by Leslie Ann Ballou of Ancestors Live Here as a way to show appreciation to other genealogy bloggers. It has since spread its goodwill throughout the blogosphere. I’m honored to have received the award from two different bloggers: Karen at Ancestor Soup and Jean at Hoffman Family News. Thank you!
Awardees of this honor are supposed to list ten things they have learned about any of their ancestors that surprised, humbled, or enlightened. It has been fun reading all of these lists on everyone’s blogs. You are also supposed to pass the award on to ten other bloggers who you feel are doing their ancestors proud, but I doubt there are ten genea-bloggers left that have not yet received this! Here is my list of things that have surprised, humbled, and enlightened me:
- I was surprised to discover that I had a set of 2nd great-grandparents and one 3rd great-grandmother that immigrated to the U.S. I believed that all four sets of great-grandparents arrived here as married couples, but one great-grandfather arrived as a young teenager and lived with his parents and grandmother.
- I was surprised to learn that my great-grandmother who came as an unmarried teenager was from the same town in Poland as her eventual husband who had been in the U.S. for two years. For years I assumed she was from another country based on family stories that were not correct.
- I was surprised to learn that two of my great-grandfathers had brothers who also immigrated to the U.S. No one in the family knew about these uncles.
- I was humbled by the courage of most of my female immigrant ancestors who traveled to the U.S. either alone or alone with young toddlers and babies.
- I was humbled and saddened to learn that my great-grandfather’s first cousin, a Catholic Pole named Jozef Pater, was imprisoned at Auschwitz and died there.
- I was humbled to find out that some of my great-grandmothers had to bury more than one infant or toddler.
- I was humbled to discover my great-grandmother’s mental illness and wondered how she survived as long as she did in a hospital not known for its kindness.
- I was enlightened to learn the names of the towns that my immigrant ancestors came from and their long histories.
- I am enlightened by the community of genea-bloggers who are willing to help, befriend, and humor me without ever having met me.
- I am enlightened by my two beautiful nieces and my two handsome nephews that give me love, hope, laughter, and someone to eventually inherit, learn, and honor our family history.