Top family posts of the year
Here we are, in the last days of 2017, and The Legal Genealogist is once again taking just a moment to think back and reflect.
It’s Saturday… the day I usually focus on my family here in the blog. And it’s almost Christmas Eve … a day when most of us try very hard to keep the focus on our families.
So here on this Saturday, I’m taking a moment to look back on a year’s worth of once-a-week blog posts about my family… the blog posts that mean the most to me individually — and that often resonate the most deeply with readers.
Sometimes, a family post will break into the top posts overall for the blog for the year — but more often they’re simply the ones nearest and dearest to me.
And so I take this opportunity, this last Saturday before Christmas 2017, to share with you the top family-related posts of the year. Without further ado…
• Saying goodbye…: “The Legal Genealogist is back in the air this morning, this time sadly winging westward towards Chicago. There, tomorrow, in the Lutheran church where he was baptized and confirmed, we will celebrate the life of Timothy Evan Geissler (1973-2017) — and mourn his loss. He will be laid to rest with his great grandparents and other kin privately on Monday.”
• They never met: “The Legal Genealogist had two grandfathers who served in the armed forces during World War I, that war to end all wars that the United States entered 100 years ago this week. The two men never met. And all I can say is… thank heavens.”
• RIP Ciara: “She came into my life on a Saturday afternoon in September 2007. The exact date: September 29, 2007. … I sure didn’t expect to be writing the end to this chapter in my family history this soon.”
• Her name was Fan: “It was the 14th day of April 1831, and William M. Robertson needed money. A hatter in Lowndes County, Mississippi, he owned a hat shop in the Town of Columbus, the county seat. And he wanted to borrow $150.40. … And so, the deed book solemnly records, this man, William M. Robertson, put up property as security for that loan.”
• Starting a conversation: “I am proud of my southern roots. Proud of my southern ancestors. Proud of the life they carved out of the frontier not once but repeatedly as they moved across the south into the southwest. And I honor them for what they achieved. But I am also aware, as a genealogist, that my southern heritage includes responsibility for the institution of slavery. My ancestors included some who enslaved others. And some who fought against the Union on behalf of the “right” to enslave others. Balancing those two parts of southern heritage is — as Beth tells us — a complicated matter. I am not, I cannot be, proud of everything my southern forebears did.”
• Getting older: “The first year I actually remember starting to feel old was 1998. Not because that was the year I started to realize that I was going to have to learn to write “20–” on checks and documents instead of “19–”. Not even because that was the year, as I began to contemplate my own milestone birthdays, that I started to understand that I was already older than my parents, aunts and uncles had been when I started thinking of them as quite elderly. But because of a small private liberal arts college in the midwest that is small in size and might in reputation.”
• The house of childhood: “They cut down the trees. Replaced the front and side hedges. Enclosed the backyard. Painted the house a color that isn’t white — and the house really should be white.”
• Odd cousin out: “This is the Memorial Day weekend here in the United States — and on the actual holiday itself The Legal Genealogist will speak of one particular loss in the family. But today… on the day reserved for writing about my family generally… a reminder that Memorial Day weekend is also the traditional start to the summer season as well. It’s the time when folks felt it was appropriate all of a sudden to wear white. And the time when schools started to wrap things up for the year, with many of my southern cousins already out of school for the summer. And the time when my mother began getting ready to pack us all up and head south for the summer. To my grandparents’ farm (“the Farm”) in Central Virginia. Where I was promptly … sigh … the odd cousin out.”
On to 2018… with the usual additional sidetracks into other top-post lists for this year…