Monday, April 13, 2009
HOW GENEALOGY UNFOLDS
There is much to be said about how genealogy unfolds. For those of you who are searching for family members, may Old Trunks advise you to sit back and take a breather if you feel stuck. Pick up on another subject when you feel like you haven't names, dates, and places to talk about because something will come. Wait as a waitress; keep busy, keep writing.
How the stories have come to Old Trunks in the last month are remarkable. Much credit comes from hours at the computer in times past and when a name is googled, if in the blog, there is a connection. Although there is much talk about Twitter, there is also Facebook and other communities of 140 or less key strokes full of information.
My sweet Thomas as a family that was, when he was younger, quiet about the family tree. The idea OT got was there wasn't much information out there. But, I warn you, there is ALWAYS information out there. It is a connection and it might make its way to you innocently enough, one much use their own eyes to find it. Start with the newest if you must, but start. I know everyone that reads this blog has stories learned at grandfather's knee or opinions of ancestors, good and not so good. Be a product of telling the yet-to-come generations about your family history.
I challenge you to write a story a month. Take your time to include the details including the conversation, the time of the year, and who was there. It is okay if the story doesn't match up with the other's there we aren't each going to remember every detail but whomever writes it will become a real person for generations to come. Until a better method of storage comes along, store it on a disk. You can add pictures the same way. In our ever moving world, it may be the best way to assure the information actually moves with the person and the out of pocket expense is minimal.
OT has learned that scanning hundreds of pictures is time consuming but sending them to family members in this fashion is the very best way to preserve them long term. OT learned that with several subsets of my former family, (of which one still calls me auntie), as well as Tom's children. His Texas son looks at his disks often, there are pictures on it of his mother, who died in 1997. How fortunate her parents took so many photographs of her when she was little. OT has no stories of her to tell but Bob does and needs to get them together for his own daughter, Jillian. Yes, and even Jillian, who spent Christmas with her grandfather a couple seasons ago, would have a feel for what was happening beyond sledding, snow scooping, and making cards for her grandfather and dad. We are hopeful she was old enough to look at the picture album presented to her to recall what was happening and how she felt.
Many of us were raised around our grandparents, we knew the mood, the aromas, and their ways. OT was one of those lucky ones to hear stories from my grandparents first hand or, voice for that matter. When I moved away, I wrote to them to extend our relationship. My grand parents wanted to know what I was doing, no different than grand parents of today, is it?
There was a cartoon in the paper yesterday. The boy friend was frustrated with his girl friend. She had not emailed, text, blogged, called, or written on Facebook for two days. Where was she, what was she doing? She answered, "You didn't check Twitter, did you"?
Communication lines are numerous, which one do you choose to use?