In my spare time, I'm the family historian. I've been working on it for a while--since I was eighteen. That's uh, well, it's a long time. There have been quite a few adventures in the dead relative's hunt.
My children grew up believing that everyone spent their vacations in cemeteries. The youngest one was shocked when her fourth grade class went on a field trip to a local historical cemetery and her classmates were afraid to get off the bus. She was the only one in her class who knew what a headstone rubbing was.
Cemeteries in the country are not in convenient places. Don't ask me why this is, but I can tell you that (at least in rural America) they're located on the narrowest road in the most out of the way spot possible. As a matter of fact... one of "our" cemeteries is located behind a rest area on a remote two lane road in Texas. Another one is in the poison ivy infested woods in rural Kentucky.
My family were farmers that moved on every generation. Most families had a bunch of kids. The girls married, but that still didn't leave much land to divvy up among the boys so usually the younger ones moved on in search of a little piece of land where they could farm. The earliest generations came into Maryland and Virginia in the 1600's and from then on, they were on the move. The Carolina's, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and finally my parents met in Arizona.
I suppose I come by my restless feet naturally. While my friends shudder at the thought of moving, I always look forward to new places and experiences.
In a couple of weeks I'll be heading out to visit my folks. They live across the country in Texas. On the way, we'll probably take a detour or two to check out a cemetery or library or town hall. We'll take pictures of the land and marvel at the tenacity and determination it required to move across the country with no roads in a wagon or on foot. And when I come home I'll have a renewed appreciation for my ancestors.
That's the real fascination of the dead relatives hunt.