You've decided to create a family tree. Do you have any idea how much time it will take?
I started my tree way back around 2000. I found a few documents online and added my grandfather's names to the Wall of Honor at Ellis Island. But, I was working full-time. I had other things to do besides sit at my computer. My labor of love would have to wait.
And that is truly what it is - a Labor of Love. My curiosity about how my family came to be in America. Not all of my relatives are here. Many still remain in Italy and present-day Poland. Others are spread all over the world - Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, England, France and who knows where else. Some Italian relatives moved to Germany in the late 1800's and I have no idea if they ever left.
But like volunteering - for which I received a local award years ago - it is the pleasure we derive from our efforts with no remuneration.
I started this in earnest about seven years ago. Even after retirement in 2008 I was still active with Legislative issues in our state and then I was volunteering at the local hospital in the pastry kitchen. Then one day I was sitting home babysitting Charlie, who turned seven yesterday, I found I had plenty of time while he was napping. And I got to do some serious work.
And I have loved every minute of it. The wonderful folks I have met online, even those I am not related to who just have questions. The discoveries I have made and the sleuthing I get to do to try to fit all the pieces together. I've started keeping track of addresses and if folks are the same age living in the same house, I've starting assuming they are siblings. And if I am wrong, who cares.
It is a hobby. A labor of love. And I hope the family I leave behind appreciates the time I put into this. Because someday they may have questions about their ancestors, and I will have provided some answers. Way more answers than I had when I started this.