Every genealogy buff was inspired to begin this journey somehow. For me, it was the passing of my uncle Todd, a man I had never met. It was then that I realized just how much I didn't know about my family, and that fact threw me into an existential tailspin; every moment of these people's lives paved the way to my own existence, and I didn't even know their names! And that was that; I wanted to know anything and everything about my family. Where were they from? What did they look like? How did they live? What did they stand for? How did I get here?

Six years later, here's what I can tell you: I am, like most white folks, descended from Charlemagne. I have ties to the European settlers of Idaho, Utah and Oklahoma. I have ancestors that fought on both sides of the American Civil War, were part of the Texas Mafia, were fundamentalist Mormons with a zillion wives and even more children, were Kings, Dukes, Emperors, and Saints, fought with the "Indians", fought against the "Indians", opposed slavery, were captains of famous ships, were artists and musicians, joined churches, ran away from churches, fought in Cromwell's army, and much, much more. 

In amongst these 3000+ names, these old photographs, these barely legible census records and handwritten legal documents, I have found a rich and often convoluted history. The stories of my ancestors bounce around in my head during the quiet moments of my own life, and I have realized that the answer to the question that started this all -- how did I get here -- is, in fact, not the conclusion of our history, but the very beginning. 


Stacie Mehr
08/06/2013 07:11

I have several photographs you would be interested in, I would love to email them to you. They are of Minnie West and her children. My great great grandma is Eliza Jane West.


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