February 01, 2013|
Recently, in going through a file that I keep for genealogy articles and clippings, I found "The Story Tellers" just waiting to be shared. It will be quite meaningful to some of you who already research your family, and, hopefully, it will be meaningful to those of you who are thinking about researching your family. There are quite a few reasons why people research their family history, and why you have not yet begun the search. After you read the following story, you may want to be one of the chosen.
The Story Tellers
We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors, to research the family history, putting flesh on their bones and to make them live again; to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts, but breathing life into all who have gone before.
We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one, and we have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our Story. So, we do, and in finding them, our ancestors, we somehow find ourselves.
How many graves have I stood before and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors that they have a wonderful family, that they would be proud of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt that there was love there for me?
It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who I am. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference, and saying that I can't let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish and how they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us that we might be born who we are, and that we remember them. So, we do with love, caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are them and they are us. Now, it is up to the one called in the next generation to answer the call and to take their place in the long line of family storytellers, to step up and put flesh on the bones of our ancestors. (Author Unknown)
I have been such a scribe or one of the chosen, a story teller of my family. This is one reason why I do family research, to find not only our family's ancestors but to hopefully find out stories about them. It is always interesting, but it can be frustrating, too. There have been many times when I wanted to throw my hands in the air. But, then I find a little morsel of information that I use to find a bit more about the family or another name to follow to yet another county or state, and there I go again, digging into the books or trying to find that old country road on which a family cemetery is hopefully located. As I have said many times before, in blogs, newsletters and/or programs, finding one's ancestors is really finding one's self.
"The Roots that make Us One are Stronger than the Branches that Divide Us."