Thursday, August 23, 2012

Family History Is Just About Those Who Are Gone...Or Is It?

When we begin to assemble the key players of our family tree, we all begin with the basics. We write our names neatly in the primary box at the bottom of the tree. Then we move up a branch and we write our fathers name...then our mothers name. Then we separate off into the paternal side and fill in the names of our father's parents and grandparents. Then we work our way back to our maternal side and diligently fill in the names of her parents and grandparents.

We may fill in the birth dates and death dates if we know them, maybe making a mental note to "Call Mom and ask what Grandma's birthday was".

After we've dutifully filled in all the blank lines we step back, and with a sigh, we pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

Maybe we frame this tree and hang in our hallway with the other family photographs. Checking off our list "Research Family History".

But wait!! Don't check that off your list quite yet.

Family History is more then just the names and dates of our parents and grandparents. The history of our families...of the story each of us have to tell. Sadly our stories are lost after we are gone, little tidbits may remain in the memories of our children, cousins or nieces, but the things that may matter to us go unmentioned.

Who better to tell your story then...YOU.

Family history is about OUR own stories too! Not just those who've already passed.

Many times we are so focused on getting the facts about our 4x Great Grandfather that we forget to get the stories of our parents, ourselves or our children down. I know I'm guilty of this as well.

But guess what?

All those who are dead...will stay that way. Their history will remain in place. It's those who are alive that we need to worry about. It's their stories...our stories...that need to be preserved now. Think of all the information that is sitting in their heads, just waiting to be mined.

"But my life is so ordinary! There is nothing special about me!" you say.


How is that possible?

History is about ordinary people. Some who have done extraordinary things, but they were ordinary just like the rest of us. Today blogs, like this one, are read by many. Why?? Why are blogs so successful? They are written by everyday people about their everyday lives. What about Twitter or Facebook? Their entire existence is based on peoples desire to know about other peoples lives. Why do we want to know what someone had for lunch? Why do we care what movie they saw last night? Because we're curious about people.

So imagine your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren or even your 4x great grandchildren...don't you think they will be curious about you? Curious as to why you loved to play the piano? Why you chose to be a doctor? Or why you quit college?


So tell it....because family history is NOT just about those who are gone!

No comments:

Post a Comment