I am proud of my parents for preserving our family history by writing to their mothers for information. And I am proud of my grandmothers for their interest in genealogy, and their ability to pass it down, long before computers and back when going to a genealogy library was almost an impossibility for them.
Both my parents came from long lines of New England ancestors. Both were Mayflower descendants, although we didn't find that out until my time. They were both from Vermont, with many generations there, and lots of Great Migration types who came over btw 1620 and 1650. We call ourselves yankees. There came a time when they were young parents that dad's work left Vermont. So they moved south, and part of the family was born in PA. My parents realized our family was culturally different than the neighbors, and wanted their children to appreciate where we came from.
Neither of them forgot their roots, and while their mothers were living, they wrote to each asking for any information they could give about our ancestry. Both my grandmothers were natural genealogists, and there followed a series of letters that became the beginning of this genealogical trek that I have been on for most of my life.
My maternal grandmother was born in a rural town in Vermont where her ancestors, and my maternal grandfather's ancestors, had lived since before the Revolution. I recall as a child not understanding my grandmother when she would tell the family stories, kind of like the Kunte Kinte oral history in Roots. I am so proud of her for her phenomenal memory, and the fact she cared so much about all those names in all those generations.
My paternal grandmother had a yankee side, and an Irish side, one of four children, but the only one to survive. She had a unique view of the world, because she was from what was then considered a mixed marriage. She was able to communicate to us how different her parents' families were, and my study has allowed me to better understand each perspective. She had grown up with a grandmother who had been put on a ship for Canada at the age of 11, torn from her mother and her Irish home. That part of the family experienced great poverty, which affected them accordingly. The other side was kind of the opposite. It is not that they were rich, but they were prosperous, and religious. Some would say over religious. They believed it was important to help their fellow men, and they believed in temperance, which the Irish did not. My grandmother absorbed both cultures, which was not always a happy fit. She made choices in her life to accept the good from both, and walk away from the bad. It has been an education for me to understand that, and appreciate the choices she made.
So my lifelong hobby of genealogy owes much to my parents and my grandmothers, of whom I will always be proud.