My interest in family tree research began in 1996 as a sixth grade student in St. Louis, Missouri. As part of a history class assignment, I telephoned my paternal grandfather, then residing in Pennsylvania, to gauge his experience living through the Great Depression 1973 Oil Crisis.

We seemingly talked forever. It was the most extensive conversation I ever held with Grandpa Jodey, and notably the best. Unfortunately however, as an eleven-year old, I didn’t, at the time, understand the importance of not only recording but also storing in a safe place that exchange. I wish I had.

The man who shared a name with my father, and whom I’d only met just a few times in my young life, passed away roughly a year later. Gone from this physical world was his big smile, charming personality.

Gone were his intriguing stories.

Leading to his homecoming ceremony, I sought the assignment worksheet with notes from our sunny spring afternoon conversation of his 1930s 1970s ordeal, but couldn’t find it. Did I mistakenly throw it away with other school papers?

Sitting at the breakfast bar in my parent’s rented townhouse home, I tried picturing in my mind’s eye, from his narrative, what I could remember, but realized, that over time, my memory had failed me.

Not keeping a record of my grandpa’s story, noted from his words, is something that I have regretted, but it’s also something that I cannot change. What I can do now, however, is chronicle the personal life accounts of my living relatives, and do what I can to piece together that of those who have come before. I created this blog to organize my family history research and avoid losing such information ever again.

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