Monday, October 14, 2013
My Family Tree At WikiTree
I was born at the end of The Oregon Trail, at the end of WWII - two events which have remained strong influences in my life.
My father joined the Navy during the war, and after being trained in electronics was shipped to the South Pacific, where he was a radioman in a P-28 that patrolled the ocean around New Caledonia.
After the war ended, my father had opportunities for a career in electronics. In such a dynamic growth industry, opportunity often meant moving to a new city, and I literally saw the United States from one side to the other and back as I was growing up.
I soon realized that most people had more family around them and my friends knew their grandparents. All but one of my grandparents were deceased by the time I was born. My curiosity about who they were grew with the passing years.
Meanwhile, the age of television and the Hollywood Western blossomed. I watched entranced as Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, Annie Oakley and other characters made the West safe from the bad guys. My favorite show was Wagon Train. Do you remember the theme song? "Roll 'em, Roll 'em Roll em - keep those wagons rolling, roll 'em - roll 'em - roll em - Rawhide!"
Little did I know then that my own great-grandfather Barchus had come over the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon in 1864; my great-great grandmother Bacon also was on that trip. My Welch great-great-great grandparents Evans/Toone traversed the Oregon Trail in 1852, bringing with them their newly married son and his bride, and a son-in-law and grand-baby.
Those discoveries and more came into my life because some young men decided to get high and go for a joy ride. I thought when they crashed their car into ours that my life was ruined, but the long recovery simply meant I'd have time for working on my family tree - something I might never have done otherwise. That is how, for me, what had been an interesting hobby became a passionate vocation.