My Ancestry Quest

For years I asked my parents about our heritage. I longed for family ties because we were a thousand miles from the nearest relative.  My mother just told me she knew nothing and my father only told me we came from a long line of horse thieves!! I began my search years later when I overheard my mother telling our 12 year old daughter about our Irish heritage. Who forgot to mention that important fact to me?? Suddenly my earlier childhood interest was piqued and I was on the hunt again.
Someone asked me recently why I spend time trying to find my ancestors. Here are my top ten reasons!

  • I want to find out who I am in history and how I fit into the passage of time.
  • I want to piece together how my ancestors lived and what they might have experienced.
  • I want to find even the smallest record or mention of their names.
  • I want their lives to have not been lost in the memories of those who have come later.
  • I want to stand on the fields they plowed…view the ocean they sailed…walk the narrow streets where they went to market. And if I cannot actually go, I want to find photos taken by others who have also searched.
  • I want to peer deeply into the faded faces on old photographs and realize I am connected to these people.
  • I need for my children and children’s children to have the answers to questions I begged to know as I grew up.
  • I seek the thrill and rush of research: digging for hours in the stacks at the library or searching site after site online. The words investigate, probe, inquire, search, explore, analyze, study are a constant in my life!
  • I want to meet and get to know distant cousins who also have a burning desire to find ancestors.
  • I want to record my memories. Lindsey Mead, author of the blog A Design So Vast, has said “I believe we are all full of stories. I believe we are all looking for the way home… I believe that telling our stories – to others, maybe, but most of all to ourselves – is the only way to find our way home.” If in my search, I am able to find the stories of ancestors, I will be happy beyond words.  I will be home.
Almost twenty years after my search began in earnest, I have posted over a thousand  photos and over a hundred stories online on I’ve discovered many cousins, including one an hour away from my home and some in Ireland. I dream of having some of my work in a County Cork museum. There are quite a few authors in my Driskell line, so I take the mantel of writer seriously. I have no books published, but I’ve given scrapbooked journals as gifts to my family.
Will I ever run out of things to explore?  Absolutely not! I have friends, who just like me, have the need to know their ancestry.  And the thrill of the hunt is always beckoning me!
This entry was posted in Driskell Ancestry, Family, Heritage, Lampkin Ancestry. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to My Ancestry Quest

  1. I totally get you. I started in my late teens and continued into my early forties. Life circumstances had me setting it aside (56 now) but I consider genealogy a way of learning who you are – how your ancestors helped to shape and form you. It has been a fascinating journey through history and I applaud you for your persistence and being on the journey!


  2. How interesting to know what motivates you Ruth. I understand the power of knowing you’re connected. I’ve been lucky in having someone else in my extended family with the passion you have, so I’ve benefited from her efforts.


  3. Michael says:

    In our fragmented and postmodern world – it can be so easy to lose track of our roots – or never even consider where we came from. I think this has inspired me to look back deeper and to find that ancestral grounding – that we all need at some level.


  4. Austin Billhime(your favorite twin nephew) says:

    Don’t forget about your nephew with a burning desire about his ancestry!(: I remeber when we had our little ancestry hunt.


  5. Linda Davis says:

    I have enjoyed reading your stories and I also want to thank you for your ancestry research. I am glad we made a connection through ancestry DNA. You are very talented and interesting.
    May God Bless!


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