Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Take on History

When I grew up, I hated history.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't do too bad in it, but that didn't make me like it any less.  It was a constant race for memorization of dates and facts and it was more work than it was worth for me.  The one thing I didn't miss about being an official student was the required class in history.  My husband scared me how much he loved history, and I figured it was one of the things about him that I would take with the good.

Now, all that has changed.  It all began with learning a differently presented history.  For the first time in my life I learned history the way it happened - chronologically.  No more stamping around important dates and events and swimming to memorize an unbound number for it.  To my utter horror, I was actually getting a feel for it and even enjoying it.  Putting all the extra information around a basic timeline in my head actually made it interesting, no, that's not right, actually riveting for me.  That same "bad thing" about my husband became a blessing, as I could pump him for all the missing information that I couldn't gather about facts and figures.  It is still amazing to me how much he knows and remembers.

Next, as if by divine design, I became interested in furthering my family genealogy.   We have several lines that don't go very far back, and I was determined to discover one thing, anything.  So, in my search for an ancestor's parents I began looking at places, vital records, the works.  But remember, smarter and more experienced people than I had already done what they could, and I found nothing new.  I had to think outside of the box.  How could I find them?  Then new questions arose.  Why did they travel from Scotland to Ceylon at the turn of the 18-19th century?  What brought him there?  As suddenly as I had gained a love of history, did I discover what I could do next.  

I searched the history of the world around that area around that time.  I searched everywhere, thirsting for it, constantly inputting different search values in the search engine just to discover anything that would lead me to my GG Grandfathers parents.

I have learned much about the time period my ancestors lived in.  Even though I haven't discovered what they did, or even who some of them were yet, I have walked in their shoes, and felt feelings that could have been theirs.  I know someday as I read and learn about the world where they were, I will discover a little more and one day unite him with his parents.

All of this and more, through a recently acquired love of history.   Through history, we see that these gloomy days that we are in have been before and will come to an end.  Through history, I know not to make some mistakes that my forefathers might have to live happier lives.  Through history, I realize not to take for granted the wonderful country we live in, that we have to fight to keep it that way or all is lost.  Through history, I discover who I really am.  My past paints me, and it's what I do with my history and my present that will shape the future.


If anyone happen to stumble onto this (even if it be many, many years in the future, I am still young) and has any further information about a Captain James Thomas Anderson,(where he was and what he did, his parents or relatives, before the year 1803) originally from Scotland born c. 1779-1781 and married to a Toussaint in Ceylon in 1803, please comment.