Ryder is the name I inherited from my father, who was an orphan, and adopted by the Ryder's. I never wanted to change it.
My mother was given a last name at birth that didn't belong to anybody in the family. Until recently I thought my grandmother had named her after Samuel Clemens. Now that I've done research I know the truth.
Before I ever started research on the family tree, I knew very little about my cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, apart from one small branch of the family. Whenever a doctor would ask about my family medical history, I would wave a hand saying, "Oh no, in my family there is no history of ____________ (fill in the blank: heart disease, breast cancer, glaucoma...) whereas in fact I didn't have the slightest idea.
So discovering/ building a family tree is mind-blowing. It hasn't contributed much to my knowledge of family medical history. (In that area I'm not really looking for answers anyway.) Recently when the question came up, I said, "Well I only know one grandparent out of four. Can that be of any use? " You know what, in some cases, it can be useful.
But mostly doing this research is great for widening perspective.
First-hand information. Entered by C. Ryder at registration.
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