There’s something I’ve been meaning to do for the longest. I’ve heard countless stories about people discovering family history with Ancestry.com and other popular genealogy websites.

So, I finally stopped procrastinating and I signed up for an Ancestry.com account. Have you tried it? OH. MY. GOODNESS….. it’s been mind-blowing!

I didn’t realize that some of my family members had active ancestry accounts with loads of information about my family history. I was able to trace family members back to the 1800s and the cool thing about it is, I literally made all this progress in one week!

Discovering Family History With Ancestry.com

Last week I sent in my DNA to learn more about my ethnic make-up so it’ll take 6-8 weeks for those results. I sent emails, Facebook messages, and made phone calls to relatives I’ve never spoken to and others that I haven’t chatted with since I was a little girl.

After gathering so much data from Ancestry.com and connecting with distant family members, I was inspired to search for my mother’s long-lost sister. They have the same father but he passed when they were young. My mom never met her biological father or half sisters.

What Happened When I Found My Long-Lost Aunt On LinkedIn

I found the name of her sisters in a newspaper I found online from 1986 about my late grandfather’s passing and guess what? I searched that name online and found a woman that resembled me and my mom on LinkedIn.

As soon as I saw the woman’s profile picture, I texted my best friend to see if she saw a resemblance. She did! I carefully crafted a concise message telling the woman who I was, why I was reaching out, and included my late grandfather’s name in addition to her sister’s name.

She got back to me a few hours later and her response blew me away…

“Hi Terri! I am almost at a loss for words… You have definitely found the correct person!…”

Long story short, she’s my aunt! We’ve been texting all week and exchanging stories, questions, answers, pictures, and general information. I’ve only ever seen one picture of my late grandfather but with my aunts help, I was able to learn more about my grandfather and add pictures of him to my photo album.


Start Looking

What’s even cooler is my aunt was in Philly last weekend and her and my mom met up for the first time ever, after 40 + years of barely knowing each other existed. Wild right?

The Importance of our History

On Ancestry.com I was able to locate the plantation in South Carolina that my ancestors lived on. Emotional ain’t even the word!

This is just the beginning for me and my journey but I want to encourage others to dig into their family history and find inspiration, hope, and wisdom. We are our ancestor’s wildest dreams and as black and brown descendants, we have a hell of a lot to be proud of.

Yes this country and y’alls president are both a hot mess (ok I guess he my president too. *rolls eyes*) but our ancestors bore the brunt of racism and injustice and passed us the torch.

We’re here. We made it. We survived even though we weren’t supposed to… So what now? What will we do with all this technology, all these blessings, all this consciousness?

How will we honor our ancestors and the great trailblazers that came before us.

The only regret I have as it relates to this process is, starting sooner. Many of the elders in my family have passed away or are suffering from dementia. We were robbed of our history but its time for us to take it back.

My Challenge To You:

Go ahead! Sign up for Ancestry.com or many of the other ancestry based websites that help you begin the journey to exploring your family history. If these websites aren’t in your budget start small and simple…have a chat with the older generations of your family to see if you can pick up any gems from their stories and understanding of the family’s history. Also, you can sign up for a 14 day trial for Ancestry.com like I did!

Reflection Question:

This one is easy this week ya’ll: Who do I come from? What legacy am I a part of?

  • Aww wow! Thanks for sharing mama. Don’t get me crying now, LySandra! lol Girl try it! You’re so right. It’s free and you have nothing to lose. I was skeptical as well and even as I continue to find information, I do my best to consult with family and go with my gut. Thanks again for your continued support.

    XOXO,
    Terri

  • LySandra Choosey Walker

    This is a good one Terri, brought me to tears but I’m so sentimental lol. It is important to know our families, our family’s history… I have so many things I want to do because of MGPS lol I’ll add this to my list. I’m such a skeptic but it’s a free trial why not at least try it out. Great share! XOXOXOXO