I've been tracking down (it seems like) details on my background for a looong time. Yesterday evening I finally got some facts confirmed and straightened out, and I'm going to sit here for a minute and just...be happy.
Say hello to my great-great Grandpa on my mother's mother's side:
His name was Thomas Stone, and he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. This is what I really dig about researching. For instance, we knew on her side there's lotsa old well-off lawyerly guys...and we knew vaguely that there was someone like this, coming from one of the first blokes off the Mayflower. But seriously, to actually have it confirmed, and then be able toread about him, it just somehow feels more ... real.
In addition, I have information on another dear-to-me relative that I've always had trouble discovering information on...a Belle Haughey, a Choctaw that married my great-gramps back when that really was frowned upon. (There's a book in that one, so details will be slim here).
What does that have to do with writing?
Well, if you look at the top of it, not much. I mean, they're dead and gone, right? They certainly can't help me get a publishing contract.
The longer I do this and the better I become at it (and it's only a slow improvement, heh) I come to realize I write books with themes that are important to me. I don't really get the theme or question when I'm writing it, or right when I get the idea...I get it later, when (for instance) I'm talking to my critique group and something just pops out, or I'm running and something falls into place with a click.
I end up writing about things that I puzzle over, things that make me a better person once I get them out and on paper, and for that, for that history that spills over and out into a more satisfied Jen, I'm happy.
Now my plan is to track down Ms. Haughey on the rolls, or try to, and see what I find out. If you have a recommendation on how to do this, I'm all ears.