Dear Friends and Readers,
Welcome to 23 and me and the proliferation of all the other internet ancestry searches!*
I already know who both my parents and their siblings, as well as their ancestors were, going back three generations, so never felt any need to conductsuch a search.
All that changed recently, when three previously unknown cousins found me. To satisfy their thirst for knowledge of their ancestors, I took time away from my work, but I couldn’t turn them down because I read pain in the emails they sent me, you. One was searching for his birth mother, my first cousin. Another sought her grandfather, my uncle. The third cousin’s father is is my first cousin. He still lives, though he suffers from Alzheimer’s.
I have a photo of my mother’s family and her seven siblings, wrote what I knew about each one of them, and emailed the information to my new cousins. I also made copies of that photo for each of them, framed them and mailed it to them.
The challenge of recreating my personal family history for my new relatives felt exactly like what I do every day of the week when I labor to create a fictional family for my Historical novels. My current work in progress, MISS SARA’S SECRET* (working title) is about a young lady who is forced to abandon her beloved ancestral castle due to the primogeniture laws of the day when only male relatives, no matter how distant, could inherit. The story begins in 1820 Cornwall, England after Sara’s parents die in a boating accident. When the new viscount and his family arrive she flees to London and a strange new life. I won’t reveal her secret here, because I don’t want to spoil the ending.
*A friend told me that she did an ancestry search not only for her own origins, but also for her sister’s ancestry. She informed her sister of the results, which indicated that although they were raised in one religious faith, they were born to parents of another religious faith. This led to an unfortunate result. My friend’s sister, a devout worshipper in the faith she was raised in, was so incensed, she no longer speaks to her. The moral is: Beware. Not every ancestry search ends well.
On a personal note, I turn 89 on February 15, 2019 and remain in good health thanks to yoga four hours each week and a careful diet. My life is full, what with close friends and a loving family, which now includes anew addition: My first great grandson.
All the best,