Knowing When to Shut Up…

I truly believe that a person needs to know when to shut up. Its a valuable lesson to learn, if you think about it… If you shut your mouth to soon, then you never get all of the information out that you need to, likewise, if you keep talking long after you have made your point, you have the ability to drag on about, while those around you begin to lose focus and tune you out. Right now, I think this is the most important lesson you can take with you to the grave… Yes. Take this lesson to the grave, because those currently and passed dead do not understand this. Or maybe, they just don’t care… Either way, someone needs to pass this valuable lesson on to them.

Clearly, my panties are all up in a knot. I can’t help it. I am tired and I am cranky. Why am I so irritable, you ask? Well, if you really want to know… It’s because those darn dead relatives talked to me way into the wee early hours of morning. And what irritates me even further, is that they didn’t even give straight answers! Ugh!!!

Okay, let me back up and give you some background information… Yesterday, in one of the Genealogy Facebook groups I belong to, someone posted this little tidbit of information, “Check out my latest blog post “School Records, Even If your Ancestor Didn’t Attend School”. Researching school records, in my opinion, is a must for any genealogist. If your ancestor didn’t attend school as a child you might be surprised that they are named in school records as an adult for various reasons.” Anyway, a discussion ensued and I have to admit this is something I was excited to delve into… but at a later time and certainly not at 0 dark hundred on the clock…

Oh, but those crazy dead people didn’t think I needed a pesky little thing like sleep. Because all night various ancestors- from my dad and granddaddy to people who were gone long before my mother was even a twinkle in her mother’s eyes- peppered me with all kinds of questions that I should ask when I contact these various institutions about the involvement (if any) my ancestors may have had with area schools or possibly (but highly unlikely) their own schooling. And the crazy thing is, is that they didn’t even have the decency to give me a glimpse of what they might have  looked like! Nope. They just kept chattering away… ALL NIGHT LONG. And now that I think about it, why didn’t they just give me the answers instead of screaming a bazillion different questions at me? Wouldn’t that have been more efficient and effective? Ahhh, if only.

Anyway, I had plans (I really did, I swear) of going to my local LDS Library and taking a lookeeloo around and finding out what they had available or what help they might be able to offer me in my plight to tell the stories of my ancestors, see if they had any volunteer (read JOB openings) and possibly taking a detour through the Virginia Historical Society and then coming home and sharing with you all the great new finds of the day. Instead, here I sit, venting and enumerating the frustrations of the day… I am so sorry that you came here and had to here all of this. It is really unbecoming of a lady to rant and rave and carry on so- my Nana would be appalled, I know it.

But, let’s try to clean this mess up, shall we? As I sit here typing away, I am also watching an episode of Finding Your Roots, and in the beginning one of the guests is presented with his life book and right there in the opening pages of his book are pictures of this person in school and their report card… An excited flutter has started in my chest. Maybe I don’t have as much pull as Henry Louis Gates, Jr, but  there’s gotta be some hope, right? I am now trying to remember all the questions that forced me awake last night and I am kicking myself because, like a dummy, I didn’t write a single one  of them down.

Story of my life, I swear. Well, maybe you can help me. If you had the chance to connect with your ancestors through school (whether through employment or schooling) what are some of the things you would want to know?

I would want to know if they played any sports, did they take advantage of their position as an employee to get ‘some learning’, being black, I would want to know if they were afraid of getting an education (though I am not sure how I would  definitively be able  to answer that) and how did they acquire their job with the school (was it appointed, were they in the right or wrong place at the right time, etc.

For more information on Finding Your Roots, please visit and for more information on the aforementioned Blog, please visit (shout out to Melissa LeMaster Barker- someone I am fast coming to admire and  look up to in the genie world)

PS- I truly hope I have given credit in the appropriate way. But, if I haven’t, please reach out to me. But don’t just tell me I did it wrong, please tell me how to do it right also. Thanks for stopping by and see you next time!



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