Thursday, January 7, 2010

Memory Keeper

Are you the Memory Keeper of your family?

Over two years ago I decided to sit down and research my family history. I was bound and determined to follow up every lead and get all of the unanswered questions I had about my family history. "Where did they come from?" "Who were they?" "What did they do for a living,?" "Did they fight in any of our nations wars?" My journey took me three solid months, seven days a week, eight hours each day. I gave my search everything I that I had.

My search paid off and I was able to search my family back to the 1500's, through twelve generations, which yielded me information that two of my great grandfathers being recorded in the history for their traceable journey into uncharted territory and the settling a new town. One of my great aunts had a questionable past. Four of my great uncles fought in two major wars and an uncle, who guarded three of our sitting presidents, and even a First Lady. My history reads like a juicy romance novel.

Though it took me a great deal of time to research my family history I am glad I did it for myself, for my siblings, for my mother and her sisters and for the generations who will come after me. It was worth all the hours sitting on a chair in front of the computer researching, emailing my uncle and my mother for fact checking things I was unsure of and I would do it all over again, in a heart beat. I wish I had an attic full of boxes and boxes of books my ancestors had kept journals of their lives, but I didn't. So, I say to you become the memory keeper of your history. Write down the stories that make your family who they are today. Take note of the important dates of your family history, because if you don't you may not be as lucky as I was in the search. I now have a time line with pictures and documents that chart my family from generation to generation and I am glad for it.

Why not start your journey by recording your family history, like I did, with something like this photo album from The Polka Dot Kitty, with your child's/family name embroidered on it. It's a great place to start and what a great gift it would be to give to your child or to another family member.

I wish you all the luck and joy that I had when I sat down to search for my family history.

1 comment:

janaemadsen said...

what a great post- my mom is a geneologist and I try to help her- she makes us the cutest books every year.