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What Chocolate Taught Me About Family History

Actual photo of the creations at: The Great Unbaked

By Jan Edwards

Imagine this chocolate truffle, can’t you physically start tasting it before you even pick it up! All of your senses come alive, you SEE the experience you are about to have, you HEAR it come out of the box in anticipation, you SMELL the aroma as it comes close to your nose, you TOUCH that lovely chocolate between your thumb and pointer finger, you raise it to your mouth in anticipation of the TASTE, the saliva starts running, and the “I LOVE CHOCOLATE ENDORPHINS” are alive! At work we call this “You are now enjoying the experience!”

Two days a week I disappear from being online, I work with a great bunch from “The Great Unbaked”. Yep! We make this “RAW” truffle! Check out The Great Unbaked and learn all about “RAW” Chocolate!

Ok, Jan, what has this got to do with family history?

Before the internet, the research was hard, and expensive, you had to wait patiently for responses or requests you had sent in the mail. Sometimes you got an answer and sometimes you did not! Many of the documents had to be ordered from the state, you paid for those, and did I mention you had to wait?

I waited 6 months for a Civil War packet to come. But OH MAN, when I went to the mail and SAW that 2 inch thick envelope and who it was from my heart leaped. I picked it up in anticipation, the TOUCH of that envelope was exciting,

I took a knife and cut the envelope open knowing I would want to save it! I could HEAR the sound of the papers coming out of the envelope. I could SMELL the paper and ink, my “I LOVE GENEALOGY ENDORPHINS” were alive, I could TASTE that the answers I was needing were going to be answered! I had just enjoyed the experience!

Today’s methods have changed some of that experience. We want instant gratification; we find so much so fast without really sacrificing anything. I looked through several 1000s browse image only images searching for an un-indexed will, and I was so excited when I found it! When I shared it with the person I was helping, it wasn’t even read, she said “Oh! Great! Now can we find her father?”

Another said “I must have a brick wall, I have looked for 2 hours.” When you only use others “TREES” you just miss the EXPERIENCE! We are so fortunate to have the tools we now have, the help we now have, but don’t miss knowing your family. Don’t be in such a hurry to go back that you miss their stories, that you miss knowing their lives!

Don’t become irritated and angry because you didn’t instantly find your answers! Enjoy the search, enjoy learning how to be a better researcher.

This is not a race, you are never going to get back to Adam. You are probably not from royalty. Your family is probably just like mine, having a life! Enjoy the experience, savor each and every find. One little initial could bust open a line. One new place might lead to new records.

Chocolate and Family History, life doesn’t get much better!

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