Genealogy: An account of one’s descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own. —Ambrose Bierce
During the two years of absence from my journal, I have managed to amass unfinished knitting projects, travel to New Orleans, develop a fondness for roasted kale, and elect a new President. I like our new president, but there are many on the losing side who have become stressed to the point of melt down. It’s utter ridiculousness. These people have no idea what stress is all about. I can tell you what is…researching ancestral roots from Finland. Yes, Finland. It has caused me to question my sanity and my reason for undertaking this journey. After countless hours of searching online databases for birth certificates, death records, marriage, baptismal, etc., only one death record has appeared, my grandmother’s. I know it’s correct, because I was, after all, at the funeral. This frustration has led me to become envious of those who can easily dig up facts or interesting stories on their kin. Newspaper articles?! This overwhelms me. I don’t think my relatives participated in life. Now I must admit I haven’t forked out the dough for the paid subscription to newspapers. com. My dilemma also involves boning up on a foreign language never learned. I did attempt to acquaint myself with my grandma’s and grandpa’s mother tongue. However, it was a lost cause, not just because it’s difficult, but it’d never be popular at the grocery store. The angst of not knowing the correct spelling of a maiden name weighs on me. My grandma had eight kids and not one of them agreed. They have Kaakinen, Kakanen, Kakinin, Kakhanin, and Kekkonen. I have added Kähkönen, because it looks cool. Now to add to my exasperation, I hear through the grapevine that my Finnish grandfather and his brother couldn’t agree on how to spell their surname. Though this research endeavor might sound futile, I’m determined to write their story.