Friday, November 4, 2016

The Pause along the Journ

There are times during the various paths along our research that information is discovered.  Sometimes it is documented or verbal and it makes you pause so you can digest what you learn. After thinking about it for a period, you then decide what path to take.  If the information is positive, like you are related to someone famous or you find an ancestor that accomplished something that society admires, it is easy to know the path to take.

The challenge comes when the information doesn't sit well based on your beliefs.  Digging into what you learn will at times teach you what or why the ancestor did whatever they did.  For example, I had a woman in my family that own and ran a jute joint in a small town.  This was based on verbal history shared with me by her sisters.  This joint was a place where locals partied and musicians would stay while on tour and traveling in the area.   Many years ago, she sent me a picture of a musician that wrote and played a song he wrote that became pretty famous in the jazz arena.  Researching the times, I learned about how African Americans were not welcomed to stay at hotels whether they were  famous or ordinary people.  Word of mouth was how these traveling people learn where they could spend the night safely, have a drink of alcohol, purchase time with a woman and party if desired.  This jute joint own by my family member was during prohibition.  So was this ancestor a tainted woman or a woman that met demands of some clients?  In other circles she may have been considered an entrepreneur in ways.  Rather than criticize choosing to accept what was based on the limited information or lack of documentation, we keep moving along the path.

The experience of this journey consistently leads me in places of learning the real history of the ancestry and learning.   Continuing to follow the paths and moving my modern day beliefs out of the way so their stories can be told is challenging yet it is the real deal.

Happy Hunting.