I want ancestors with names like Rudimentary Montagnard
or Melchizenick von Steubenhoffmannschild or Spetznatz Giafortoni, not William
Brown or John Hunter or Mary Abbott.
I want ancestors who could read and write, had their
children baptized in recognized houses of worship, went to school, purchased
land, left detailed wills (naming a huge extended family as legatees), had
their photographs taken once a year -- subsequently putting said
pictures in elaborate isinglass frames annotated with calligraphic
inscriptions, and carved voluble and informative inscriptions in their
I want relatives who managed to bury their predecessors in
established, still-extant (and indexed) cemeteries.
I want family members who wrote memoirs, who enlisted in the
military as officers and who served in strategically important (and well
I want relatives who served as councilmen, schoolteachers, county
clerks and town historians.
I want relatives who `religiously' wrote in the family
Bible, journaling every little event and detailing the familial relationship
of every visitor.
In the case of immigrant progenitors, I want them to
have arrived only in those years wherein passenger lists were indexed by
National Archives, and I want them to have applied for citizenship, and to
have done so only in those jurisdictions which have since established indices.
I want relatives who were patriotic and clubby, who
joined every patrimonial society they could find, who kept diaries, and
listed all their addresses, who had paintings made of their houses, and who
dated every piece of paper they touched.
I want forebears who were wealthy enough to afford, and to keep for
generations, the tribal homestead, and who left all the aforementioned
pictures and diaries and journals intact in the library.
But most of all, I want relatives I can FIND!!!