Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A New Name for Just Thinking...!

Ever since the week I created my blog, I knew that I'd eventually have to change its name, but, as with most of the things I do, I've waited for just the right moniker to come to me. Yesterday, as I was driving to work, it did just that.

When I first began to blog, I'd thought it was going to be more like a diary - revealing more of my everyday thoughts, feelings, and life-experiences. And though there's been some of that, I quickly realized that a genealogy blog was to be just that - a web-log about GENEALOGY. As time (and posts) went on, I knew that I wanted Just Thinking... to have title that would be more reflective of my research experience, but as I've said, I had to wait for it to come to me.

During the past couple of weeks, I've been somewhat frustrated with my research. I've been going through that phase of feeling that I'll never discover anything new, and, although I've made several new contacts, everyone seems to have the same information that I already have! I'm at that point (again) where there's just not much more that I can do on the Internet, so a research trip is necessary, but this not a good time for me to take one. Work is crazy, life is hard, and I'M JUST FRUSTRATED!

On top of that, the problems that I have with my very disjointed, dysfunctional, and disengaged (living) family have been heavily pressing on my psyche. As I try to work to uncover the SECRETS of my family's past, the more I realize that without the help of my relatives, I'll probably never be privy to many of the little nuggets of family lore that I need to give me a direction to go in. Unfortunately, the few relatives who seem to even have a minute interest in what I'm doing, know even less about the family than I do! But all of this aside, there are people in my family, both young(er) and old who know things; and no matter what I do or say, I just can't break through the shield of protection that they have up around the details of our past. Even in my immediate family, where I am the youngest child, with siblings who are over a decade older, there are issues that prevent us from communicating on any level about anything such as this. Deep in my own thoughts, I'm admitting aloud something that I've realized for a long time. Mine is not one of the great, sprawling, well-connected families where everyone loves each other and stands together as one. And, this didn't just happen. My research has proven that. But, the question is WHY? WHY did Calvin and Precilla's eleven children go their separate ways - in some cases living just doors away from each other on the same street in Louisburg, but not sharing their lives? WHY did the descendants of Anna Green split off into two separate groups - one, Greens, the other Greenes - whose family lines don't even know (or seemingly acknowledge) each other? WHY did my Dunstan ancestors disappear from Franklin County and WHY doesn't anyone in my family know any of them, or where they went? And, WHY did Nathaniel Hawkins disappear into oblivion, having the details of his life seemingly erased, and leaving nothing to his six children? I have so many questions about all of these things, and in many cases, have begun to discover some answers, and as I do, it is my intention to continue to bring those answers out of the darkness and INTO THE LIGHT.


  1. Renate,

    What a touching post, and a great new name for your blog! It so appropriately reflects what true genealogical research is all about. It seems especially fitting for African American research as so much of our families histories and stories are covered in darkness. You are not alone in your frustration; many of us have relatives that know things but for whatever reason will not share their knowledge with us. I think it's because sometimes, but not always, memories of the past are just too painful. For whatever reason, you were the one chosen for this task. As your new blog name so beautifully states you are the one to bring your family story...INTO THE LIGHT.

    I wish you well in your quest.


  2. I agree with Sandra up above. I, too, have a branch of my family more concerned with the appearance of love than sharing love itself. I love the name of your blog and I wish you many genea-gasms as you continue your search.

  3. Renate,

    and I will follow you no matter by what name you call your blog. I like your writing -- honest,forthright, "cut to the chase," and yet lyrical.

  4. Thanks, everyone. I can feel the love!

    Sandra, as usual you affirm and confirm my thoughts and add the ambiance of your words to my ramblings. :)

    Patti - "genea-gasms"? LOL.. That's a new one on me (just when I thought I'd heard it all), but what a great term. Oh well, as least I can say I'm having some kind of gasms! LOL.

    Joan, how ever sweet of you. Thanks for being one of my readers!

  5. Renate,

    A very moving post and I understand exactly where you are coming from. I seem to have this problem no matter which one of my lines I'm searching, whether paternal granddad's line where the two NC branches are only 83 miles apart yet there is no interaction or whether it's dad's line that has always acted like there are no relatives past my grandparents.

    Hang in there with the research. Just when you think you aren't making progress, little gems occur to keep you motivated.

    I think the new name is perfect.