STAMFORD, Conn. — When Stamford resident Marge Pavlov is not volunteering to clean up a city park or helping children learn to read, she is discovering her own story by researching her family’s past.
“You get to know a little bit about who you are and who your ancestors were,” Pavlov recently said, sitting behind a binder stuffed with birth certificates, court papers and photos.
Pavlov has been fascinated by the information that she has been able to uncover through her adventures into the lives of her ancestors.
“It’s not just the names that are interesting,” Pavlov said. “It’s the stories you collect.”
Pavlov discovered that members of her family were part of historic events. Two of her ancestors — a father and a son — fought side by side on Bunker Hill. Another ancestor was a passenger on the Mayflower, she said.
Pavlov discovered many of these stories through online through genealogy websites, which provided her with richly detailed information.
“You go on the Internet and you can find information that took years to research,” Pavlov said.
Pavlov also turned to Kathleen Tesluk, genealogist for the New Canaan-based Hannah Benedict Carter Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, to help research her past.
Pavlov is now a member of the organization, whose members are descended from the patriots who won American Independence during the Revolutionary War.
Pavlov said that researching her past has been a process of self-discovery. The research process “gives you a sense of who you are as a person,” Pavlov said.
Pavlov’s quest to learn about her family’s past has also become a part of her identity. Know “Who Am I” from the “Les Miserables”? “That’s my theme song,” Pavlov said.
To learn more about the work of the Hannah Benedict Carter Chapter and Tesluk’s historical research, visit the chapter's website here.
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