Recently on a beautiful spring (in Florida – the robins just returned so hang in there northerners) afternoon, family members invited me to go to lunch at a local cafe in our downtown area. Because this was a spur of the moment invitation, I hadn’t changed from my casual Saturday morning attire. I was wearing my recent Christmas gift from my sister-in-law pictured above and a pair of jeans.
When our waitress, Melissa, who has given me permission to identify her and share this story, handed us the menus, I found her staring at my t-shirt. She immediately asked, “Are you a gynecologist?” My family burst out laughing. “No,” I replied, “I’m a genealogist.” Obviously, the way I was seated at the table Melissa could not clearly read my t-shirt.
Melissa asked what a genealogist did and I explained that I was like a family historian. A family member added that I help people find their past. I added, “For people who are adopted and want to know about their birth parents, I’d work with their DNA. For everyone, I would search for old records and photos to help them prove a family story.” Melissa shook her head yes, she understood.
As we dined, Melissa returned to check on us several times; each time she had another genealogical question.
The word genealogy is derived from Greek meaning the study of generations. It surprises me that in a study done in December 2018 in the U.S., 34% of the respondents could not name their grandparents. I’m never bothered by people asking how to get information to help them discover their past so I wasn’t bothered by Melissa’s questions. Research shows that genealogy is one of the largest hobbies and I’m happy to add more people who are interested.