MONDAY MANIA: Genealogy at its Best and Worst

MONDAY MANIA (ma·ni·a/ˈmānēə/): An excessive enthusiasm or desire; an obsession. Does this describe your feeling for genealogy? As most genealogists know, the hunt for ancestors can take over one’s life. And each of us can offer a different reason for becoming involved in the chase of long deceased (or not so long deceased!) family members.

It’s been 23 years since I started my journey into “digging up my roots” after my Dad’s mom visited for Christmas in 1989.  Her lack of knowledge about her own mother who passed away when she was an infant was astounding to me.  I am proud to say that I have had the pleasure of knowing three of my great-grandmothers and also blessed to have three grandmothers (a story for another time!).  So, for me to hear that she knew very little about her maternal family, it sent my mind a-turning.  Delving into one’s family history is usually not a college student’s hobby, but this mystery proved to win me over.

Of course, I did the happy dance when I received my great-grandmother Ida’s death certificate from Little Rock, but the information only prompted me to make a list of questions that included a new mystery.  The location of her grave… Thanks to a few inquiries I was (un)pleasantly surprised to find that the State Hospital’s cemetery in Little Rock is now located “under” the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission building.  What?!  Yes, genealogy will throw you a curve ball, even in the very beginning.

Share your most recent discovery that had you doing the family history “happy dance”.  I’m working on a few loose ends for my husband’s family here in New Jersey.  I’ll post details soon!!

One thought on “MONDAY MANIA: Genealogy at its Best and Worst

  1. I like your blog. I have been doing genealogy since my aunt started it in the 1970’s and found a lot of information about our family’s ancestors and family members began writing their stories to add to the family genealogy. After she died in the 1980’s, I began to add information and see if I could unblock a “brick wall” she had reached. After I subscribed to, I came across some information that led me to breach that “brick wall” and find out that my maternal grandmother and grandfather had descended from the same ancestor who had been a Scottish prisoner of war from England in 1651, had settled in Lexington, MA and his grandsons had fought in the Revolutionary War in Concord, MA in April, 1775.

    My grandmother descended from his first son with his first wife, who had a daughter who married a man by the last name of Nichols. My grandfather descended from one of the last sons of my ancestor and his second wife all the way down to my mother. I did a “Happy Dance” when I found the connection and had fun sharing it with my cousins a couple of years ago.

    My husband’s family has substantial roots in New Jersey and I am pursuing several lines there and enjoy spending time in libraries and historical society offices. The step-side of my husband’s family recently turned over a farmhouse to be used as the offices for the Princeton Historical Society in Princeton, NJ. I don’t get down there to do research as much as I would like, but enjoy it when I do. Your site is really very nice and I hope to visit it often.

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