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To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.

– Chinese Proverb

With age comes wisdom, some would say, but I’d add that with age comes a growing sense of our lives being part of a stream of humanity reaching back to before time. With this awareness, comes a desire in many of us to learn a little bit about that stream, who we are, where we come from; “who are our people.”

It is in this vein that I started researching my family in the early 2000’s. My mother had already done some work on her ancestors back in the mid-20th century, in applying for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution. From there, I found distant cousins who were already working on various lines of the family and could incorporate their work into mine.

In 2008, I took my first genealogical DNA test and that began to provide me with people to whom I was related, but with no knowledge of how such a relationship came about. In many cases, these are still mysteries. In some cases, there are less than pleasant incidents in our family histories. I tell people, “If you want to work with your family history, be prepared for some surprises.” Genealogy in general and DNA testing in particular has a way of casting a harsh light on family history, and sometimes the truth is not all “gardenias and magnolias.”

With that, I say again, “Welcome to my family genealogy site.” It’s here for you as much as for me. Whether or not you are a cousin known or unknown. Families spread far and wide and only through our shared work and interest can any of us gain a fuller knowledge of who we are and where we came from. Some data and stories will not match up, and that’s good too. It pushes us for a better source, a fuller explanation.

Sadly, most of what we know about our ancestors is statistical: dates and events. Unless we are fortunate enough to have an old diary or maybe a newspaper clipping, we don’t get much of a sense of what these people were like, how they lived and all the many stories they could tell. So much is left for the imagination, and we must let historical events during their lifetimes provide us with but a less than perfect backdrop of what their lives may have been like. Forensics is an important aspect of genealogy.

The name of my site is “Green Pickup,” which may sound a bit strange. I named this after the old green Chevrolet pickup truck my father drove when I was a very young boy growing up in East Texas. It hauled things and this site hauls stuff too. It contains stories, data, indeed the essence of the lives of my ancestors, as represented by the stains of DNA visible in the back of the little green truck.

I’d like to pay particular thanks to my cousin Roger Bartlett of Austin, Texas, whose extensive work on the Bartlett family goes back to his youth, well before the internet, when he had to write letters and make calls on family members to obtain much of what we have today. He has given me most of what I know about my maternal line. My husband and life-partner, Doug Watkins, a genealogist himself, has spent many hours of online research gleaning data on some of my other family lines, connecting the dots between known and unknown people, filling in the spaces between DNA matches; to make a fuller picture of my ancestry.

Welcome and I hope GreenPickup will be worth you time and interest. Good luck!

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Some useful and interesting 3rd party documents associated with these families...