That’s a photo of me hiding behind a photo of my g-g-grandparents Lillie and Charles Campbell. This journey that God has taken me on over the past couple of years through identity has been so rewarding. For me, it’s been a spiritual journey but it’s also included the physical aspect of identity with my actual family genealogy as well as issues like body image and eating. If you haven’t read some of my previous genealogy posts you can catch up here –
In the midst of growing in my understanding of identity I have discovered that genealogy is something I’m actually passionate about. There are many things that I enjoy but there haven’t been many things that I actually feel passionate about and it’s something I’ve been praying about. I love everything about genealogy; connecting dots from the past to the present, gathering information, and discovering the hidden gems on family branches. It’s something that I have loved sharing with some of my friends and it’s also given me new ways to connect with my family.
My first big surprise was when my nana’s first cousin responded to a post I put up in an Ancestry.com forum one year ago. I’ve never seen a photo of my g-grandmother Elsie and I also wanted to try to reconnect with that branch of my family for my nana. It’s been such a wonderful experience catching up with her cousin’s children, we swap photos and email pretty regularly now. One day I’d love to have an actual reunion. We still haven’t uncovered a photo of Elsie, but I do have a photo of her brother Alfred and a few other wonderful photos that draw me that much closer to her.
Another amazing discovery was through Lillie Campbell who I am holding a photo of above. Her father’s family was from Alabama before he moved to a small town in Texas. I followed his family line and found branches upon branches that led me all the way back to ancestors coming over as early settlers and also the Native American branch my dad has told me existed for years. There were several interesting people on those lines, but I’ll save that information for another post ;).
So with all of this excitement I came across a casting call looking for the next star for Ancestry.com’s next commercial. It seemed so divine so I immediately made a video that answered their 3 questions. Here’s what they asked.
- How did you get started and what steps led to your first discovery?
- Was it easier or faster than you thought it would be? Why?
- What did you learn? Did it make you feel differently about yourself or your family?
Within 24 hours I got a call from casting for a callback. I describe the experience in more detail here. But to sum it up, I got the call yesterday that I officially booked the commercial :). It shoots at the end of this month and I’m ready to share this story. Like many Americans I have a range of branches and I’m honored to come from them all.