<b>By Guinn Sweet</b><br><a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>
“People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.” Edmund Burke in his “Reflections on the Revolution in France” (1790).
The more I look into the genealogy of my children, the more I admire Darryl and Teresa Tarmasso, the geniuses who assist the participants of the Mineral Wells Senior Center in their search for family roots. I get a headache when I even think of the devotion and work involved, to say nothing of the eye-strain.
I do think that it is important, if for the sake of nothing more than looking back to see how our genetic source behaved, or misbehaved as the case may be, and to anticipate the path that our future can take. Without getting bogged down in the idea that we can’t change what’s ahead, I wish to have suggestions as to how I can deal with that unchanging and predestined future for me and my children. That being said, let me tell you of a completely unexpected source of information from my husband’s past generations, and the pleasure of sharing it with our children.
This past week, our son called and told me that an FBI agent was looking for us. For a moment I was panicky, thinking that I was not imagining something terrible every time my Norton Anti-Virus program reported an attempted invasion of my computer, since that is a common occurrence. What have I done, what have I done?
Well, it turned out that one of Colon’s distant cousins had retired from a 30-year stint of employment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which had nothing to do with anything involving me. I agreed to have this man call our home and thus began a whirl-wind information blast from his research files, telling more about Colon’s heritage than we ever thought we would find. I long had the desire to leave with my children a thorough story of their lineage, but lacked enough input from the Sweet family to let me do the research myself.
The actual result of our conversations with Jim Vaugh, the cousin, has not reached us as yet, but it is on the way and in the meantime we have been able to assist him with some details regarding the Ezra Sweet (Colon’s) branch of only two remaining lines of the family, from the presumably four or five original branches. While waiting for Mr. Vaugh’s remission of more than 100 pages of research, we are talking every day, sometimes twice or three times a day. Even late at night, and he lives on the East Coast and is therefore one hour ahead of us. I asked if he had a family and he said he had a wife. I am sure she was in bed at the time.
I think this man is going to prove that every Sweet who has lived is hyperactive. I can’t imagine Colon spending his many long retirement days searching his family background, becoming obsessed with finding out all he can, even minutely, concerning the name Sweet. However, I can look out on any day warm enough to be outside and see a Sweet either tearing down an engine, reflooring a trailer, inspecting mole hills, rebuilding an engine, feeding the cow when we have one, sawing tree limbs, checking the rain gutters and cleaning them if necessary, and (thankfully) seeing him do a like number of chores/tasks inside the house when the weather is below freezing.
He takes out the trash, vacuums and spot-cleans the carpet, washes windows and replaces broken and old blinds, fixes door knobs, cleans lint from the dryer filter and changes filters on the furnace/air conditioner. He does other stuff, too, unless I ask him for something specific to be done, then he finds that he needs to “snake” the plumbing in the bathroom, first.
Do you get the picture?
Now if I could just get him to use the computer for genealogical research instead of only for playing solitaire! My, my, what a busy man he would be, and it wouldn’t be so annoying to me and I could forget ever having a headache again.