Wife, mom of two boys, biologist, Renaissance woman and former Family Tree Firsts blogger: Meet newbie genealogist Shannon Bennett of Locust Grove, Va.
1. What sparked your interest in genealogy?
Talking about history was a daily pastime in my house because my father is a historian. It never occurred to me to actually pursue this interest further than what I knew until my oldest [child] came home with a family tree project the fall of 2010. That one class project had me thinking about family lines for months before I finally took the plunge.
2. What ranks as your top family history find?
I’m still so new that everything I find is cool and interesting and fantastic! But I have to say the photographs have been my favorite. The best find was from the Library of Congress
picture collection of the Washington, D.C., Reform School for Boys, where my husband’s great-great-grandfather was assistant superintendent.
3. What’s the latest you’ve stayed up at night working on genealogy?
I turn into a pumpkin about midnight. However, I did one day neglect to do anything important but sit at a computer for 10 hours because I was determined to find that elusive “proof” I needed. Never fear, the kids did get fed and to school on time. I think the laundry may have even been washed and piled on the couch for later.
4. If you could meet any ancestor, who would it be?
My third-great-grandparents John Brennan and Bridget Gerharty. No one knows a thing about them, except they came from Ireland and were killed in separate accidents when my great-great-grandfather was a small boy. He and his siblings were sent to live in an orphanage.
5. Complete this sentence: If I’m not doing genealogy, I’m probably …
Working on a project. I have tons of them around the house in various states of completion. I sew, do calligraphy, paint in various mediums, make stained glass and attempt to play the harp.
From the May/June 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine