Okay, so there's no snow and no tree, and the gift I received today was not wrapped in pretty paper, but what I received today was so incredibly AWESOME that it really does evoke that same Christmas Morning excitement, plus a little more because this was pretty unexpected.
Today I was given the gift of kinship or, more specifically, family history :) My Nana's brother, my Great Uncle Stanley, has become a genealogist in his retirement. He has been researching the family history on my mother's side for the better part of 20 years. (Side note, he will do this for other people as well, he's done quite a bit of research into Mikey's family too). I always knew that he did this, and it would occasionally come up in conversation during family get-togethers and I found it very interesting, but, like so many other things you mean to do, it got lost in the shuffle of a busy life.
A dear friend of mine has recently begun researching her own family history, and her efforts have rekindled my interest in my own. So, this past weekend over Easter, I talked more with my Uncle Stanley about our family's history, and he asked for my e-mail address and he said would send me everything he had. He sent me a series of e-mails today, and I'm sure there are more to come :)
I was completely unprepared for the volume and depth of the research my Uncle has done. He has traced my maternal lineage back SEVEN GENERATIONS!!!! My Mother's maiden name is Caufield, and he has traced the Caufield line back to my four times Great Grandfather Patrick Caufield who was born in County Louth, Ireland in 1787!!! My family is wicked Irish in that line, in addition to *Caufields*, there are *McKay's*, *Kelly's*, *Karney's*, *Driscolls* and a host of other Irish names.
Here is County Louth (it's a little ways North of Dublin)
Here is the County Louth Tartan :)
I don't know if I can accurately describe how I feel right now.....the best word I can think of is "Connected". I am here because those people were here. I live because they lived, and even though they lived hundreds of years ago, there is still a part of them in me. That. Is. Amazing.
I can see myself becoming massively addicted to Genealogy :)