As anyone who has ever attempted to set out to trace their family history will attest, having someone in your family to help you along the way is really important. They can provide not only general information crucial to building the branches of your family tree and photographs to add a face to the names, they can also provide details and anecdotes that records such as birth certificates or census records cannot.
When I started to look into my own family history back in 2003 the family members that helped me get started were my grandparents, both maternal and paternal. Because of their instrumental role in my journey to trace my family history, I thought I should highlight my grandparents for this weeks Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge.
Grandparents seem to have all the answers–well, a lot of them anyway–and they make a good starting place–at least they did for me. I was fascinated to learn that they were able to go back to their own grandparents or even their own great grandparents, and that in most cases they had vivid memories of them. My maternal grandmother, Alberta (Sebok) Hamilton, for example, once told me about her paternal grandfather, Frank Sebok, who was a Hungarian émigré and an urbane man with a glass eye that ran a general store with his wife (Roza) in San Bernardino County, California. Although strict, he would often give her pieces of candy from their store.
More than any of my other grandparents, moreover, my paternal grandmother, Margaret (Lapham) Kernan, really helped my journey to uncovering my family history the most. She had an interest in genealogy, and she provided me with numerous pieces of information, particularly a family history report that traced back several generations in a number of different branches. Since her passing in 2004, I have been able to add much to our family history, impart thanks to my paternal grandfather, William G. Kernan, who provided some of her hand written family group sheets (taken from family Bibles), anecdotes, and photographs.
Click here to learn more about Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge (Clicking this link will take you to another site.)