Knowing where you're from and the history of your family is extremely important.The past informs your present and helps to guide you toward your future. Not to mention, you learn an awful lot of interesting and at times comical stories.
I have been interested in my own ancestry for as long as I can remember. However, given the various dynamics of my life and family, I wasn't able to do much research until I was in my early twenties. But even then, it was limited to the first few generations and simply learning a bit about the history of the different last names.
The funny thing about ancestry is that with every generation you introduce new people, new surnames (and thus an entirely new branch of family), and before you know it, you're related to half the people on the continent.
Thankfully, a few years ago another member of my family had put together a history of my grandmother's side of the family as far back as known records. Following that, I got a piece of info you would think would have been easy to come by: the name of my paternal grandfather's grandfather. Once I got that single name, I was able to find a treasure trove of information that took me all the way back to 1610.
Of course there is always more to learn, and I still lack information about "my" Bogle's beyond a handful of generations, but being able to put this information together has given me a sense of belonging and pride that is much greater than before.
My Family Tree
My father's last name is Bogle, my mother's last name is Norton, and my grandmother's last name is Byrd (also spelled Bird). My maternal grandfather, Robert Norton (middle picture) was actually adopted and very little is known about his biological family which makes things a little difficult when it comes to creating a full family history.
As a result, I have had to focus on my father's family and my grandmother's.
The picture above represents 200 years of my family's history. The first picture is of course myself, born in 1984. The second is my maternal grandfather, Robert Norton, about whom I know little. The final picture is James Bird, my grandmother's great grand father. He was born in North Carolina in 1815 and died in Kentucky in 1906. That is the only picture he ever took and it was taken in 1903.