Didn't do much on Ancestry today...those Mormons have me befuddled so they do with their numerous wives and shooting wild turkeys...and the children...ye gods did they have some children. Dozens of them...
And there I was getting all over sentimental about young women dying from cholera, not to mention your man who expired from eating poison parsnip, and when I told Herself she was quite matter of fact about it all and said...well...that was the way back then.
I wanted to shout...but they were your cousins! Proper blood relatives, not like some of my beheaded and imprisoned and stabbed with sharp swords people who were only relatives 'cos they happened to marry a cousin five times removed...I mean...I wouldn't know them from Adam if they stood on the doorstep...but I'd be willing to bet that Herself would recognise poor Susannah with her grumpy face...
Well...I'd recognise Richard Empson 'cos I've seen his picture on Wikipedia...but I'd not know one of those stray Vikings who crept in and married a cousin six times removed... I might be somewhat startled by a Viking standing on the doorstep wanting a cup of tea and a scone announcing he'd married cousin Maud six times removed on the maternal side...
The Mormons and the frontiersmen with their long hair and beards and their gaggle of children...wearing buckskin with fringes and consorting with Indians...now they have me fascinated but part of me doesn't really want to know. A contradiction, of course it is...but it is the Mediaeval people who pull me back...not those rather headstrong folk who lived four hundred years later and forged ahead into the wilderness to build towns and schools...they were brave and sometimes foolhardy, but they don't hold my interest in the same way as does an Icelandic girl sent in a wooden ship across stormy seas to marry a Viking lord of mixed birth...
I'd rather ponder over a stone castle ruin, perched on a cliff top, over-looking the Atlantic than see the early photographs of the school building which Orrin built...and I'd much prefer to find the apprenticeship records of my long gone Uncle when he trained a lad to be a baker or a tailor or a dyer than the detailed account of an elderly early American who fell and broke her left hip and died as a result from the pneumonia which followed...
Some of my reluctance over the American settlers is that sooner or later I'll find a slave owner...I'll come across a record of someone who owned slaves...there'll be a list of Susan's and Marys who are described as 'about thirty years of age with a pica ninny at breast' and Samson...'A hard worker and good with the dogs'...
To have relatives who were hung drawn and quartered for suspected treason...to have found early Irish kings who fought constantly for their lands...those who ended their days in desolate Workhouses as paupers...but to find ancestors who bought and sold people...then I'd much rather not know.
And of course it isn't possible to choose who came before you...you might have a family tree filled to over-flowing with desperadoes...it isn't up to you to disown them.
Perhaps I'm slightly jaded by those earnest Mormons and am seeking a light relief...maybe finding so much information in one fell swoop is simply over-whelming...I think I might leave them with their wild turkeys and log cabin schoolhouses for a while and have a look at who were their people left behind in England...