When I was about ten years old I learned about the “family tree” in a project I was doing in Camp Fire Girls. Since then I have been interested in learning who came before me. During every generation there has been someone in our family, usually a mother, who cared enough to write down all of the information (birth, marriage and death dates) she knew about herself and her husband, her children, her parents and in some cases their parents. Over the past six decades I have collected these slips of paper and stored them away.
For over thirty years I have been putting all the information I could get my hands on into Family Tree Maker. Now I find genealogical information on the internet. It is amazing what you can learn when you Google a name like ‘Francis Eaton’ and words like ‘Mayflower’ or ‘Oregon Trail’, and phrases like ‘colonial home life in 1790' or "Ireland in 1830". These are events that have shaped our family. I am grateful to the people who have already done the research and have put it on the internet for me to find.
You, my dear grandchild, think I am obsessed with genealogy. Maybe I am obsessed, but I have over 3000 names and so much information. I need to do something with that information so that you will understand where you came from and how you fit into the history of America. You are an American and your family helped to form this country. I have begun to see these people in our family’s past as real people not just as names.
I am a mother and a grandmother so I have chosen to tell family history through the voices of the mothers and grandmothers who I have met in my research. These women died before I was born, so their voices speak through genealogy, stories gathered over the years and historical research. I have also chosen a date in time to set each woman’s story. Usually that date is near the end of her life. Notice the story title and the year that story takes place.
Whenever I tell you names, dates or places the information is as accurate as possible. Sometime I make mistakes with spelling or mix up numbers, but unless I have made a typographical or numerical error the facts are the facts as I have found them. The actions, thoughts, opinions and feelings are ones which I have given the voices of the mothers and grandmothers who are telling their story and are my interpretation of the facts.