Guest post by Bill Dorman
Everybody loves Bill! He's a lot of fun and a frequent visitor here. I met Bill on Twitter and serve with him on two Triberr tribes. His blog, billdorman.me is a fun place to stop by for a good read on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Trust me, he's great entertainment. And so is the comment section!
Do you ever wonder who blazed the trail before you; the sum of all parts who determined in some way the person you have become?
I had never really given it much thought when I was younger, and even though my dad's family was relatively close knit and were great story tellers, I never knew much about the family beyond my grandfather.
Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away when I was 5 years old.
I do know 'Big Daddy' was a preacher man and he was going all over rural Florida in the 30's and 40's starting churches. I also know my father did not care for the vagabond lifestyle, moving almost every year.
It can be addicting.
My father passed away when I was 39; but about 3-4 years prior to that I became interested in the 'family' and began asking questions. I started bugging all of the relatives and really came up with some interesting stories. It was fun to watch the excitement as they recollected long forgotten memories. Every time I would 'discover' something new, I would pass it on.
This was a little bit before the internet so you almost had to be a private detective digging through census data in genealogical libraries and such. However, when you started connecting the dots, it just made me want to dig some more.
I see dead people.
My wife thought it was silly to be chasing dead people. I would counter that my efforts were bringing these people alive, and if it weren't for them I wouldn't even be here. I was curious to 'know' who they were.
You can glean valuable information from census data. You will see who the neighbors were, who married who, their occupation, etc. This helps you piece their life together.
As the discoveries were made I would always try to envision what their life was like at that time. I would wonder if they were having fun or if life was hard. I also wondered what mannerisms and characteristics they had that have carried down to me.
There will be hidden treasures.
One thing I quickly found out, there is no unclaimed Dorman estate money out there. The other thing I found out was there are a lot more Dorman's than I imagined.
Just like social, you can start chasing down a lot of different trails. Therefore, most of my efforts have been straight line, direct Dorman descendants that if any link in the chain were broken, I wouldn't be here writing this.
I know of towns, schools, roads, buildings, murders, war heroes, etc that I can trace. Some of the stories I could tell would be pretty colorful and that is what is most interesting.
They say US southerners take root; well I am probably a testament to this statement. I can trace my direct line to the early 1700's where Mitchel Dorman lived in North Carolina; every migration from there just kept going south.
Aren't you curious?
With sites like Ancestry.com, it has become very easy to discover your family history. Just like social, not every thing you read and/or discover should be taken as gospel, so it pays to verify all sources of information. It is very easy to get diverted if you don't.
I have found 3rd, 4th & 5th 'cousins', some of them local, who have also taken an interest in family history. This is another great way to cross check your information, finding 'relatives' who are also looking.
Where did I come from?
Well, we all probably came from the proverbial 'Eve' on the plains of Africa; but beyond that I definitely have European ancestry. Originally, I assumed England but since I haven't jumped the pond yet in my discoveries, I have reason to believe it could be Ireland or Germany as well.
If you have any curiosity at all, I would recommend at least taking a look. However, I will warn you, it can be very addicting........just like social.
Principal/owner @LanierUpshaw, Inc. FSU grad; Auburn dad; interested in people & relationships, who you want to be when you grow up. My themes will run from social media to life to community to corporate life and what it all means to me, of course.
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