Monday, April 6, 2015

A Little About Me

This is a genealogy blog, and hence, I have some interest in genealogy. But other than the obvious fact that I am blogging about this, why should you read anything that I write about this stuff? Just who is this person behind the screen?

I am Vicky Kolakowski, a fairly typical fifty-something transgender judge married to another woman (OK, I admit that I am typical by virtue of being the only one in that category), with no children other than the type with four paws.

I have been interested in my family history since I was a teenager, but back in the dawn of pre-Internet history, finding information was very difficult. I knew the names, roughly, of most of my great grandparents and that was it. Six of the eight of them were immigrants from places now inside of Poland, and the other two were clearly of Irish ancestry but were otherwise mysterious.

I did very little with my interest in genealogy until the 1990s, when the first versions of family tree maker appeared, along with CD-ROMs of old records. Then in the early 2000s I signed up for Ancestry.com and started putting my family tree information online, as well as that of my wife, Cynthia. However, I was very busy with a number of things, and didn't devote much energy into my genealogy hobby.

That all changed when I was sworn in as a judge in 2011. I suddenly had a very stable situation with lots of vacation time. At the same time, my mother began to worry that as her older cousins began to pass, the last folk who talked to our immigrant ancestors were going to the grave with all of the memories, all of the information needed to locate these ancestors.

So I gathered what little information we had, and began hunting. And those pesky ancestors kept hiding. I have found some of them, but others continue to elude me. Still, I hunt, with the hope that I will find the clues that I need.