You Can’t See The Forest, For All The Trees

“You can’t see the forest,  for all the trees”….  What does that mean?  You hear it from people all the time, are they confused.  Don’t trees make up the forest?  I think that it is because you get so busy focusing on one tree, you can’t see the forest.  You are looking at only one thing and not seeing the big picture.  This is what I have found true with my Genealogy Research.  You focus on one tree and you can’t see the forest and oh what a forest it is.

I have done Genealogy research off and on since the early 1980’s.  Time and life have come and gone, but I still hope of leaving something to my children and grandchildren.   Early on my plan was to find history for my grandfather, who didn’t know very much on his mother that had been in an orphanage and then adopted by a family as a child.  Back then it was the Life that got in the way and my books got put away and things where in limbo once more.

Time has come and gone.  In away time has been good to me as far as research goes….  they created new online research programs and archives, sure beats sitting for hours looking at micro-fish.  Does anyone even remember what that is?  I would have to go to my local LDS or State genealogical chapter office and sit for hours, looking and looking.  Ordering stuff from Salt Lake City, or different county and state records departments.  The records were stuck in basements or in file cabinets that no one ever looked in.  You would send off a letter, via snail mail and hope that someone would actually even answer your request, let alone go and look for the information.  Wow… time has been good to us researchers that way.

Today we can go online and type in a family name and up pops a mirage of information.  Oh how overwhelming the amount of information that is right there at your fingertips.  Also as time has come and gone, more and more records are released.  Right now we are counting down  for 1940 information.  I am not sure why they wait so long, something to do with privacy.  You can even get a job with LDS entering data.  There is such a huge amount of information out there that they are trying to get cataloged, entered and books and documents scanned, it is rather mind-boggling.

Thank you to sites http://www.ancestry.com it has become a fun history lesson as well.  I can read and read for hours.  Time goes by so quickly.  I was very fortunate that I had conversations with family members years ago before some of the history was lost.  Now it makes it easier to have a place to start.  I get lost….. One day my BFF asked me what I was up to?  I told her that I had spent the day in Kansas.  Then it was Ohio and Wyoming.

I have also been very lucky that there have been some publications on some of my family, as they were very instrumental in forming area’s like New York City.  They where Dutch and came to in the early 1600’s to what they called , New Amsterdam.  That became Flatlands, Brooklyn New York.  My ancestors home The Wyckoff House is now a national landmark there.  It is the oldest wood frame structure in the America.  My Great Grandmother lived in Kansas as a girl.  She went to school in the first Sod School house there.  My husbands grandmother lived in a sheep-herders wagon, out on the plains of Wyoming.  Her mother had died in the flu epidemic of 1918, leaving 3 small girls.  They had to travel with their father, where he followed the herds of cattle and sheep.

So many trees!  Trees, trees everywhere and the different roads that our families took to get where we are today.  The history of this country and places around the world.  Looking at just one tree at a time, we don’t see the forest.

~Oregon Smiles … with Franny, On The Road Less Traveled

Photography courtesy of  Tracie Louise Photography, Queensland, Australia

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