When my paternal grandfather passed away a couple months ago, a few things really stuck out at his viewing. There were a TON of people there who fondly remembered him, someone had bought a bunch of Rheb’s candy boxes and put them around the room (not only a Baltimore tradition, but a family tradition for as long as I can remember), and our family tree.
My PopPop was passionate about our ancestry and for years (actually, probably decades) I’ve heard about our family tree… but I’d never actually seen it. So, when I saw a framed version sitting at a table in the corner I was intrigued.
I’ve never seen anything like it before – a hand drawn map-like tree which traced every single step of our family. The original is actually a huge 12 foot x 12 foot version that was unrolled each year at a family reunion so everyone could write in their updates. At some point someone took a picture of it so that it could be framed.
The trunk of the tree starts with Johann Hermann, a village baker and schoolmaster born in Germany in 1699, branches off for his four sons who came to America in 1752, branches off more and more and more and more… all the way to me!
How cool is that?!
My uncle had a digital version of the tree, so I was able to go in and add some updates so that all the younger members of our family were there, including Jack. For Christmas, I printed four copies and framed them for myself and each of my siblings.
Not only will my family tree remind me of where I came from – literally – but every time I look at it I think of my grandfather and how much he loved sharing his knowledge of our past to each of us.
Have you been bitten by the ancestry bug? Do you have a family tree?