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Diggin’ up my family history

When it comes to family history, I was never really interested in it as a kid. My mom was very interested in our family history, and I can remember her sitting at the computer working on it when I was little. Up until very recently, I still wasn't interested in my family history, but that all changed in August.

I have a lot of family in Kentucky, and my sister and I took a mini vacation in late August and spent it with our family in Kentucky. Our long weekend consisted of going on my first motorcycle ride, riding the motorcycles to Tennessee, going dancing and staying up late swapping stories.

My favorite part of the trip, besides spending time with my family, was on the last day, when my great uncle told us about our family history in Kentucky. We took what my sister and I have named "The Tour," which included my uncle taking us to numerous cemeteries where our relatives were buried, showing us where he grew up and other places around Paducah, Ky., that had special meaning to our family.

The day started with my sister and me sitting outside with our uncle, drinking coffee and listening intently to him talk about our ancestors. I learned that my fourth-great grandpa came to America from Ireland and somehow ended up in Marshall County, Ky. In the winter time, my fourth-great grandpa, his wife and their only son (my third-great grandpa) would load a trailer with their belongings, and walk to Arkansas where my fourth-great grandpa would wolf hunt.

My uncle said, according to the stories he has heard, my fourth-great grandpa died while wolf hunting in Arkansas. The story goes that his wife and son put my fourth-great grandpa on the trailer with their belongings, and walked him back to Marshall County, Ky., where he is buried.

The kicker is that no one I have talked to has records of what my fourth- and third-great grandpa's names are. I can only trace records back to my second-great grandpa. What makes it even more difficult is that each generation only had one son, up until my great-grandpa was born and had four other siblings.

Because of this story, and because of the challenge it brings, I have become very interested in my family history. I have started making a family tree, which is actually very difficult and time consuming. My next step is to find a large book so that I can fill it with pictures, stories and information that I have learned about my family. Then I will have something that I can pass on to future generations.

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