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Monday, March 23, 2009

Family History


FAMILY HISTORY: SOME THOUGHTS

I fear that "family history" is a subject that many of us do not become interested in (if we do at all) until too late (when people are no longer around to share their memories.

Why? Because none of us wants to even think about the day when loved elderly members of our family may pass away.

Of course, the assumption that our family members will pass away when they are elderly may or may not prove accurate.

I believe that as most of us get older we develop more of an interest in personal family history and general history as well. I assume that this is because our lives are just so full of so many important things to do in the present that we just don't have much time to collect memories of the past to make available to our loved ones in the future.

Sometimes we will begin to gather information, but something else negates that collection. For example, my father began to fly as a teenager, went on to be a military pilot with some experience as a commercial pilot, and owned two planes when I was born.

At one point I bought a book on airplanes and we marked the ones that he had experience in flying. This seemed like a smart move. However, two circumstances happened that I didn't count on: somewhere along the line the book has disappeared and my father passed on in 1984 at a very early age, an age I didn't expect him to pass on at.

While my Mother lived 20 years longer than my Dad I didn't see her very much as my wife and I were working and raising a family. I still have great numbers of questions that I would love to be able to ask her and my Dad.

Recently I have worked very hard on some family genealogical research that I know that they had answers and leads on for, but I never thought to ask these questions, AND to clarify and record and store safety their answers.

Gather family information, if not for yourself, then for other members of your family. Record and provide information for future family members. I don't think that it is too much of a stretch to imagine your grandchildren of the future wanting to know what you DID at Carlsbad Caverns and the other places you have worked.

Help your future family understand its history, traditions, accomplishments, and values. You and your immediate family members are an important parts of your larger family's story.

Did I mention taking and preserving lots of photographs, clearly labeled with dates, names and activities.

Why not start a personal blog and save hard copies?


This may seem like lots of effort, but someday others interested in the details of your family's history will help provide your family the legacy that it deserves.

BH

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