This morning, my 10-year-old caught me indexing a page from the 1910 Pennsylvania census. He said, "dad, what does 'single' mean?" (He was referring to the marital status portion of the record.) Stunned that someone in my immediate family would ask me something genealogy-related, I had to quickly come up with a great answer that would keep his attention.
I got to explain what a census record is, and then we looked up my grandpa (his great-grandfather) in the 1930 census. With his entry in Legacy on my left monitor, and the 1930 census record on my right monitor (oh how I love having two 28" wide-screen monitors side-by-side) I tried to get my son excited about what he was seeing. He replied, "I thought all the people in these records were dead." Grandpa just turned 87.
Before I knew it, it was time for my son to leave for school.
This experience with my son reminded me of a family history moment I had with my own great-grandmother 15 years ago. "Great-Grandma Larsen" was the best grandma a boy could have. Although she had dozens and dozens of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, I knew she loved me. She would always kiss me on the lips and she never forgot my birthday.
At our family reunion in Oregon in 1994, she helped me put together a picture pedigree chart of her ancestors (shown on the right). I wasn't completely new to genealogy - I had just completed the first year of my genealogy degree - but this was genealogy at its finest. She told me stories of her great-grandparents as we carefully placed each photo in its place on the pedigree chart.
I get to talk with thousands of genealogists throughout the world every month, and while I love talking genealogy with all of you, there's nothing that beats talking genealogy with my own, close family members.
What about you? I'd love to hear of your "genealogy moments" in the comments below.