Scanning today’s fiction reviews, I still observe zombies, vampires, and all sorts of urban paranormal characters clamoring for your attention. If you find a shape-shifting, blood-seeking, or undead protagonist who strikes your fancy, chances are that you can expect multiple installments starring your creature of choice.But no series can last forever, and ultimately the skeletons will just wait them out and claim your interest. Your family skeletons, I mean: every clan has some lurking in the closet.
Family trees harbor fascinating characters—adventurers, entrepreneurs, pirates, and so forth. Genealogy research can match the appeal of just about any flavor of popular reading. For example, there’s romance: great-great-grandparents who grew up on adjoining farms or grandparents who met in night school learning English. For a mystery, try figuring out why your great-uncle is listed under three different surnames in three different census rolls.
Science fans will be intrigued by some of the quaint maladies that afflicted their forebears. What is apoplexy? consumption? dropsy? Those who appreciate spine-tingling plots should try searching for an ancestor at findagrave.com. Discovering a photo of the actual headstone definitely elicits chills.
As for fantasy, that would be the expectation that an average individual can go into the library and receive a ready-made portfolio of his/her family tree, assembled for free by a team of experts. However, you can experience that thrill vicariously by watching Who Do You Think You Are?.
For those of us who aren’t Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tim McGraw, or similarly well-known, Round Rock Public Library does provide a great option: Genealogy Advisor. Jacquie Wilson is offering her considerable experience (including the National Archives) to aid family history researchers. Jacquie as Genealogy Advisor will be on hand at several convenient times this month. At the library, we think you’re special, even if your family is a bit unusual….