Sunday, May 28, 2017

Remembering Our Ancestors

First of all, I owe you all an apology. I needed to take a much needed break from my blogs and work on some personal life changes which actually took longer to take care of than I originally anticipated.
Finally, those things are all taken care of and I've also downsized my home and moved to where I can be closer to my grand children. Now it is time to get back to my blogs and get on schedule to where you can expect new information from me every month.

I have noticed a lot more interest lately in genealogy, be it learning how to create your own family tree or doing the DNA tests and trying to read the results and making contact with relatives all over the world that you never knew existed.  Or maybe you are a youngster that had a homework assignment, where the teacher wanted you to put together your family tree and because of that experience  you now are continuing your research trying to learn more and more about the older ancestors of your family.

This weekend I had several of my grandchildren over to the house and my computer was set up on the dining room table and the screen opened to the family tree on Ancestry. I'm trying to take advantage of the free access to military records over the Memorial Day weekend and get some of these important documents attached to the members in our family. 

It was exciting to see them wanting to know more about  the photograph of the person they were looking at; who they were, how they were related and if they were famous. Hopefully I've created enough curiosity that they will continue to want to know more and more as time goes on. For only being 10,8 and 5 some of the questions they asked were really interesting. This weekend has been a real eyeopener and learning experience for me, giving me new insight on what I need to include to make our family history come alive so that it meaningful to the younger generations.  I know that as I bring these records up to date and make their own personal special family history books, I'm going to need to be including a lot more information than I originally thought.

For example they were interested in how someone was born in one city and state or even another country, ended up far away and dying in another city, state or country.  I can see I am going to need to include the stories about how they came to America, and include pictures of the ship they came on and if possible show the actual ship log with their names on it. I will need to add maps to show their movement from one state to another  and even the route they might have traveled if possible. They wanted to know what they did for a living, how they traveled back in the 17- 1800's, was it by horse back, wagons or cars ? They were interested in seeing pictures of military uniforms as well as the clothing that the women, children and civilian men wore in those time periods. We ended up having a mini-history lesson. Oh the wonders of the internet!  I'm so thankful that we live in these times to where information is so much more readily available.

I want their family history to come alive, not just be numerous names, dates and places listed on a piece of paper.  Once you start this obsession of doing genealogy, there is never an end as it goes from generation to generation. You need new torchbearers and hopefully I've created a few this weekend.