Continuing with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, genealogical writing challenge, this week's prompt is, "Favorite Photo."
Similar to last week, for those following along, I'm going to tweak this just a bit. There are again so many favorites, and I already posted one last week, and I'm reserving another for a future prompt that I noticed, in the weeks ahead. So, how about I share with you a particularly significant photo?
There were a lot of reasons that I got into genealogy. I know many family historians get sucked in by a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or even a parent who had been working on their histories for years before passing the torch. I'm not aware of anyone in my family who had previously done this kind of research.
My immediate family moved from the east coast to New Mexico when I was still in elementary school. We didn't have any extended family within a day's drive of our new home. New Mexico, albeit a very young State, has a very old history and many of our new friends were surrounded by very large, multigenerational families. My family - my mom, my dad, my brother, and my sister - by comparison, started to feel very small.
As a young adult I learned that my father had fathered a son before he met my mother. That child was put up for adoption immediately upon his birth on 5 August 1971 from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, New York. No additional information about who he is, who adopted him, where he grew up, or what he's doing now, has ever been learned. Somewhere out there may be a man, just seven and a half years older than me, who looks similar to me. Somewhere out there may be half nieces and nephews. Somewhere out there could be an entire branch of my family that I don't know.
Time, distance, and several complex relationships made my family seem small. My genealogical journey began, with a mission, to fill that perceived void.
Since then, I have gained so many invaluable relationships along the way. There have been several rekindled family relationships; new relationships with distant cousins I didn't previously know existed; relationships with fellow researchers, professional genealogists, and classmates I have learned from and grown with.
The identity and whereabouts of my half brother are still a mystery. My DNA exists with every major testing company with hopes that one day he or one of his descendants may test. In the meantime, this picture of my half-brother, taken in the hospital, moments after his birth, is all I have.
Disclaimer: Each blog post is created and presented for marketing and entertainment purposes only but are based on larger research which adheres to the standards of The Board of Certification of Genealogists® as set forth in Genealogical Standards (Nashville, Tenn.: Ancestry Imprint, Turner Publishing, 2014).