Diving into online genealogy and discovering my ancestors who fought for America’s independence and more | Arts & Culture | Spokane | The Pacific Northwest Inlander
, 2022-05-19 02:00:00,
At a recent performance of Hamilton, the lump in my throat didn’t form until the emotionally charged song at the end, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.” The lyrical conclusion struck even harder as I applied the question to myself.
I don’t know if anyone will be telling my story 200 years from now, either in history books or by my family’s descendants. Both seem unlikely. I often reflect on the subjects of mortality, remembrance and heritage — run-of-the-mill existential dread as a childless 30-something. I was raised around a side of the family that placed high importance on “passing things down” and knowing the stories of those who came before us.
The ancestors I know best are on that side, yet that knowledge centers just two generations back, on my paternal grandparents, who grew up during the Great Depression and World War II.
Before opening an account with the online genealogy service Ancestry, I knew next to nothing about my mom’s side, the Colville line. This knowledge gap has since been swiftly filled.
As you start building a family tree on Ancestry, the site begins finding connections to the public records (birth, marriage…
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