People, your Auntie has a terrible addiction. It’s called Ancestry.com, the genealogy/family history website. It is my crack.
You may laugh. But I am not alone. And for those of you who know me, you will realize that it’s a perfect storm of addiction when I tell you that it combines
as well as pictures (sometimes), evidence (in many cases) and INSTANT GRATIFICATION, all from the privacy of your own computer or smartphone, because of course they have an app.
Let me tell you something: you have not LIVED until you have stayed up till three a.m. clicking little shaky-leaf hints, trawling through grand-uncles and sloppy handwritten 1850 censuses and blurry images of gravestones that might be my relatives to find OMG FOUR PICTURES OF MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDMOTHER THAT I’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE! And my cousin looks EXACTLY LIKE HER!
I can stop any time I want to. Except I will NEVER WANT TO!!! I’m not even sorry, really, except I really should not let it interfere with my sleep quite as much as I have over the years. I really shouldn’t. But will that change anything? Probably not.
Because there’s a comfortable feeling of righteousness that goes along with my Crackcestry addition. I am not up playing Candy Crush Saga into the wee hours of the morning; I am Doing Research and finding out Family History. I am doing it for Posterity. I am Helping Other People Learn About Their Families.
Oh, did I not mention that last part? Because in addition to my own sprawling, 1200-person family tree, and the four family trees I’ve made out of curiosity (two minor historical figures, two old people I’ve known who told me all about their family history in great detail), I also have four trees dedicated to searching FRIENDS’ family history. As a service to them, you understand. Because I love them, and I am generously donating my time and research prowess.
Not because I have a problem. It’s not a problem; it’s not a hobby that is way out-of-hand.
It’s a mission.