Even though the COVID-19 Pandemic has eliminated some activities, such as waiting for the school bus and commuting to work, it is still necessary to make time for important leisure activities. We do family walks almost every day, and we have Friday Family Movie Nights.
But even better, I have had time to pursue even more of my love of genealogical research. For the past several years, I have been putting everything I can find on FamilySearch.org.
This exercise of family historical exploration helps me to understand my parents much better and gives me deeper insight into who I am (and why I am as I am!).
My Father published The Gooch Family newsletter for many years in the early 1990s, literally copying and pasting information that was mailed out to his subscriber base (Yes, actual paper! I gave him his first copier, an old Air Force surplus machine, in 1981 as I couldn’t take it to England!).
Subscriptions to the newsletter barely covered the cost of paper and postage, however it was clearly a labor of love. While I was always interested in the family stories, I got much more involved with the research as I could after I returned from England in 1984 and he was entering retirement. Back then, research often meant many letters and trips. We would spent long days driving to North Carolina, poring over records in dusty church offices, surveying cemeteries in the blazing hot sun, and meeting the most delightful distant relatives.
This gave me a love of family history. There are still a bit more than one of the three file cabinets on records for me to finish going through… People sent him lots of information and questions. He did a wonderful job of including most of that correspondence back out in the newsletter.
So, I’m finishing digitizing my Father’s files and the oral histories he recorded, posting the 180 photos I took in April 2017 of Utoy Cemetery, and generally catching up on this obsession of mine!
I hear of people having a hard time finding things to do during the pandemic, and it is hard on the mental health of many, yet I am blessed to have this time. I love research and family!
I’m even starting a little semi-retirement venture: Discover-Family.net – have a look (and hire me!)