I joined Ancestral Space a few weeks ago and thought my first blog post should be a mix of information about myself and why I am so passionate about genealogy. I have entitled this blog, "Whispers From The Past" as I am a firm believer that our ancestors wish to be found and have their stories told and that they "whisper" to us from time to time whenever we need a little push or help with a brick wall. I have had numerous "coincidences" in doing genealogy research that could only have occurred with a little paranormal help.
My grandmother, Florence (McIntyre) Mack (1893-1990), was the "keeper " of the family stories when she was alive. She loved to tell us about her life, the people she knew, and the family stories she was told by her parents and grandparents. I have fond memories of sitting around our dining room table during the holidays and listening to her family tales of her life in the coal fields of southwestern Pennsylvania. It is through her influence that I became interested in genealogy and now I am the "keeper" who is adding to the family history book to be passed on to the next generations.
I had been dabbling in my family genealogy off and on for about 20 years and when a back injury forced me to be almost immobile for several weeks, I began my genealogy research journey in earnest. Always being a person on the go, I got a little stir crazy and about all I could do physically was lay in bed or sit at the computer, so I started searching the Internet for genealogy information. I found a little piece of info on my family here and another there and with each find, my excitement increased. I was hooked!
That was six years ago and my passion for finding my family and my husband's family history has continued to increase. I now have 8 generations of my father's side, 5 generations of my mother's sid and 10 generations of my husband's side. I am a board member of the Genealogical Society of Southwestern Pennsylvania, www.genealogicalsocietyswpa.com, a volunteer researcher for the society, teach beginning genealogy classes for the community education program of the Community College of Allegheny County, www.ccac.edu , and run my own family history research business, Whispers From The Past. I am now a little more than hooked, I'm addicted!
I live in Washington County, Pennsylvania which was formed in 1781 and was the first county in the United States to be named for George Washington the General, not the President. My genealogy expertise is in southwestern Pennsylvania families from pre-Revolutionary War times through the early 1900's with a special interest in the coal mining industry of this area. The southwestern Pennsylvania counties of Washington, Greene, Westmoreland, Fayette and Allegheny are a hot bed of genealogy information as this was the jumping off point for westward migration from the East Coast to Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois and other points west during and after the Revolutionary War. Settled early by the Scots-Irish and Germans, these southwestern Pennsylvania settlers played a very important role in the early formation of the United States of America. We are steeped in the history of the very beginnings of America and the people who participated in the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the Pennsylvania - Virginia land conflict which created the Mason-Dixon line, the Whiskey Rebellion - the first civil uprising in our new nation, the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution with our coal, steel, and glass industries.
As I continue to hear my own family whispers, I hope to continue to add to this blog and to connect with other members of Ancestral Space who share my passion in hearing the Whispers From The Past of their own ancestors.