Highlighted Main Ancestral Lines

Highlighted Main Ancestral Lines
How many Ancestors Can you Find?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

What Most Defines “You”?

 – credit to Lori Jelle for inspiring this meaningful tangent

During different periods of our lives, the answer to this simple sounding but actually quite complex question can seem to vary greatly.

In our youth we may be most defined by our studies, our sporting interests, our friendships, or deep familial bonds while the emphasis may shift among these and onward into our career and forming our own family, home, and personal legacy in this world as we age and mature.

A better way to word this question might be “What constant in your lifetime most defines ‘You’?”

Suddenly the answer jumps out like the brightness of a 1,000 watt bulb.  Nothing holds a candle to the influence of our family members and family history on just who we are and more importantly who we become.

Sadly, many people go through most of their entire lives either completely uninterested in learning more about their family and roots or, even worse, honestly believing it is something that isn’t interesting at all because of some unsuccessful initial attempt or attempts at learning more because they went about it in a completely ineffective way.

     In 1984, I couldn’t tell you the first thing about what the last name “JELLE” meant or where it even came from.

     In 1985, I could at least tell you this surname was from Norway and who brought it to America in our family and loosely how it was likely pronounced per passed
down tradition.

     In 1996, I could rattle off a wide array of vital statistics for all of the people with the JELLE name on records in both Minnehaha County, SD and Rock County, MN.

     In 1999, I could share the meaning of the name, how it originated from the Odda Community in Hardanger, Norway, describe the heraldry of Odda Crest, loosely detail how the family farm had records dating back to the 1600’s, list a cousin whose parents still lived on the farm, and show you a group portrait from 1887-1888 clearly showing my great grandfather, five of his seven siblings, and a spouse for nearly each of those siblings.

     In 2002, I could detail exactly what it takes to bring nearly 60 descendants of my 2nd great grandparents in Odda, most of whom had never met one another, to a three day family reunion in the Sioux Falls, SD area.

     In 2010, I could attest to the amazing full capabilities of Microsoft Excel’s use for genealogy applications – something in 2005 I would have thought impossible because Excel was completely foreign software!

     In 2015, as the Founder of Genedocs an Archives Technician, I can explain how genealogy is a powerful daily influence in countless millions of peoples’ lives and a tremendous segment of a growing market to one of the largest interests on and off line.