Some of you may know Loma already, without even knowing it. Let me tell you a little bit more about Loma and then, you may see. Loma was the child of Elmer Deardorff and Mary Selecta Deardorff. I'd like to tell you that Mary Selecta's last name became Deardorff after she married Elmer in 1864, but their marriage record doesn't indicate that. My best guess is that Elmer and Mary Selecta were first cousins. (Kissing cousins as your parents=not a great start for Loma.) I've been searching quite a bit for more information about Mary (who usually went just by Selecta). And I've found her one other time as a 10 year old, but I can't find her or her family anymore than that, so I've been kind of stuck exactly how she and Elmer were related.
Anyway, Loma (perhaps because of her genes?) didn't live terribly long. She was 27 when she died, but it's what she did during the few years she had that made a big impact on an entire family.
She married Victor Lewis.
And they had two daughters, Ethel and Myrtle. (Not exactly my favorite names.)
But her oldest was a boy, Leroy Elsworth. (The story goes that Leroy was born early as Loma and Elmer L.V. were traveling by covered wagon and that he was so small he fit into a cereal crate and that ended up becoming his first crib.)
I always knew Leroy as Roy. We didn't use any titles with his name because he was from a Quaker background. In fact, in our family, we still don't use many titles. Aunt Bethany sounds uncomfortable and distant and I'd rather just be called Bethany. (My southern sister-in-laws don't seem understand this, and insist on having their children use a title with me.)
Leroy's only son was James Leroy.
(James had a slew of sisters who were mainly named after Leroy's old girlfriends. I really don't know why Leroy's wife, Alice, was okay with this, but I've been told that even a generation ago, women didn't always have a say in the naming of their children like we do today. I can't even imagine.) James married Marilyn and they had five children. The fourth was a girl, Laurel.
And here's Laurel with her husband, Ronald and their first born...me. (I just can't get over how skinny she is here! I certainly did not have a figure like this after Diego was born. So much for genetics. *sigh*)
And that's how I know Loma. She is my mom's great-grandmother. Do you see the resemblance? (Neither do I really. I personally think I look more like Marilyn's mom, but I'll save that for another time.)
But now to the point of this whole thing. Starting tonight at 7 Central, there's a new series on NBC called: Who Do You Think You Are? I'm really looking forward to it because I love learning more about the history of my family and why we do the things we do. (Like not using titles with family members.) Typically, I'm not a big fan of reality TV. I'll take The Office anyday over the likes of Survivor or American Idol. But for this, I'm in! They will be looking at the ancestry of the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Emmitt Smith.
But to top it all off, Ancestry.com is doing the Ultimate Family History Journey Sweepstakes! And you can register online everyday from now until April 30, 2010. The Grand Prize will be $20,000 to spend on travel expenses (so you'll be able to go back and visit the places your family is from and gather and see original records that are not yet online (Oh, the places I would go!), 8 hours of consultation with 5 geneology experts familar with areas regarding your family history, and an Annual Deluxe World Subscription to their archives for you and 5 family members. But they are also giving 20 First Place Prizes away of the Deluxe World Subscription. (Right now I just have access to the US records and they are really great, but I feel like I'm getting to the point where it would be nice to have records from places like England, Ireland and Mexico, so the idea of this prize is also pretty cool!)
So, go and register, and while you're there, do a little research of your own! Maybe you'll find some kissing cousins of your own (but hopefully not).