I have been interested in genealogy my entire life. As a child, I would frequently ask my adoptive mom what she could tell me about my heritage. Of course, she had little information. But, she freely shared with me what she remembered agency workers telling her. Although the information was incorrect, she did try. More importantly, she understood that I had a desire to know about my lineage.
Genealogical societies generally recognize that, while adoption forms a new legal and social family unit, it does not create a new genetic heritage. That is simply not possible. Genealogy traces the bloodlines of individuals. Up until the time of my reunion, I was unable to delve fully into what interested me so deeply.
It was not long after my reunion that I began to trace the family lines. My father and grandmother were able to supply me with some good details to get me started on my venture. Further information would come through public records, census records, birth, marriage and divorce indexes, old city directories and other standard resources used by genealogists.
While many records still exist only in physical form, many others have been made available via the Internet. This has made tracing one’s roots much easier than was once the case. Here are just a few of the resources that have helped me discover my family’s roots and story.
- Records and family trees from the U.S. or around the world:
- U.S. Military records:
- Regional records:
There are many others, but these have been staples that have yielded great results for me.
My search has led me to stories of Pilgrims, Pioneers and Enslaved ancestors. I’ve discovered a rich past intertwined with United States history. It has given me a stronger sense of connectedness and belonging. It has taken me on interesting, albeit sometimes long and frustrating, search journeys. But, it has also given me the opportunity to meet and build relationships with family that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.