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My Christmas Present...

and how I opened it without realizing it.

· Christmas,geneaology,memories

For Christmas this year I have asked for a membership to Ancestry.com so that I can finally, FINALLY, nail down our St. Augustine, Minorcan lineage. For years I have heard stories of Juan Andreu, the first Lightkeeper and know we must be related to him, how, exactly, is the question. I’m so excited to begin the search and finally fit the pieces together. Since it is not Christmas day yet, my husband has not “given” me my gift—the online subscription, but I have started to compile our Family Tree as much as I can from my Grandpa and other free online sources. What I have realized already is that this Christmas present is more special than I could have imagined. I haven’t even technically received it yet, but the conversations I have had with Gramps so far are the best gift ever! Granted, it is sometimes tricky, like when I ask for a relative’s name and he tells me “Papa,” or “Bubba.”  When I reply that those are probably nicknames and ask for their real names, he gives a little wink and says those names are real to him and what they always went by. I have learned more than just names and dates, I've learned who my people really are. I have also found a side of my Grandpa that I have never known. He’s always loved to talk about history, but the gentleness and care and love in which he speaks about his mother and family members, the pride in which he tells these very personal stories is heartwarming. But listen, if you see him around town, don’t tell him that I told you this and please don’t tell him it’s on “that Internet,” he’s got a reputation to uphold after all. I’m looking forward to opening my Ancestry.com gift on Christmas Day, but I am so very thankful for the gift that God has already given me in the chance to share this experience with my Grandpa.

Stay tuned through 2017 as I explore who my people were, who we are and what it all means.

My town, St. Augustine, Florida

Mimi and Mister Three in front of the old fort, Castillo de San Marcos

St. Augustine Lighthouse on a sunny December day

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