I wasn't always interested in family history. In fact, I wasn't ever interested in general history during school either. What I was interested in were video games and movies, and I adored the history of them both. The invention of the cameras throughout the late 1800s, the transition from silent to sound film from the late 1920s to early 1930s, it was fascinating beyond belief, and still is. Similarly, my video game preferences kept pulling me further and further back, to the NES from 1985, to the Atari 2600 from 1977, to a dedicated machine to just play Pong on the TV from 1975. By the time I was 16 I knew that I loved history, as long a it was my history.
One Mother's day, I was talking to my grandmother about my grandfather and his father. My grandfather died when I was 8 years old, so I have always been interested in hearing stories of him. His father had died when my dad was in high school. It was this thought that got me thinking. When did my great grandfather's father die? When did his father die? What even were their names? Did they live where my grandfather lived? These were questions my grandmother couldn't answer, so I turned to the only thing I knew that could possibly provide me with some answers, ancestry.com. I wasn't too hopeful, I didn't think the internet could tell me much more about my family than my own family could. However, by the end of day one on the site, I was reading the handwritten will of my patrilineal great great great great great great great grandfather from 1793. From that moment on, I was hooked!
Since that day, I have been constantly looking for more information on my family history, as well as my wife's, my friends, and of course, my clients. My paternal grandfather's family is American through and through, with most of his lines tracing back to Colonial America. Due to this connection, I developed a strong interest in connecting these early Americans to their British and other European routes. I learned the hard way what those who pursue this avenue of genealogy often encounter, the fabrication of lineages tracing back to European aristocracy and royalty. The first two links I discovered that claimed I was descended from the Kings of England both turned out to be false, or at least undocumented. Since then, I have gone through hundreds if not thousands of records and publications in this particular area, and have collected publications from only the most trusted sources.
When I'm not working, I enjoy studying possible descents from antiquity, lineages that trace our medieval ancestors back to ancient times, from Romans all the way to Egyptian Pharaohs.