Believe it or not I don't necessarily do all this genealogy research for me. This all started long before I can even remember with my paternal grandfather, Robert Panfil. My grandfather unfortunately passed away when I was 9.5 years old so I've never gotten to share all this with him. I think though, that I do it for him. He's the reason I got interested in my family history. He was interested in it an had spent time writing to family members and compiling what he could into a family tree, and now I've taken up his hobby. I think part of the reason I push so much with my research is because it gives me a connection to a man I didn't get to know as much as I would have liked. Through my research I can see what his life might have been like when he was a child and learn things about his parents and grandparents that I don't have the ability to ask him. As amazing as all of that it, it's so hard at the same time. It brings up so many unanswered questions and so many things I'd love to be able to sit down and talk to my grandfather about.
Lately I've grown to realize what an amazing gift my grandfather has given me. He's opened my eyes to a hobby and a passion I never knew I had and I only wish I could tell him how grateful I am. Not only that but he has given me the opportunity to create a stronger bond with my maternal grandfather, Carl Meeks. For whatever reason, as a child I felt much closer to my father's parents, especially my grandfather. My grandpa Meeks and I never had the kind of relationship I had with my grandpa Panfil. But now, thanks to genealogy research, we've gotten closer. Being able to see the look in your grandfather's eyes when you can tell him names of people he never knew he was related to is so amazing.
So in short, that's why I do what I do. Not just because I'm innately curious about where my ancestors have come from, but because it's given my a connection to both my grandfather's that I never had before.
Happy Holidays Genealogists!
|My grandfather, Robert Panfil, and I. Around 1989|