Family isn’t just for the Holidays

Why is it we wait for special holidays to have a family gathering? I know, we all live busy lives, distance has become a factor, extended families…..

This year during your family gathering make it a point to really get to know the people behind all those faces. I posted about this on our Facebook site The Genealogy Dames but I want you to think about it as more than just a holiday thing.

Our parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents (insert any relationship here) have so much to share. We all feel a bit awkward when it comes to thinking our stories are worth capturing but we’re all walking encyclopedias. I’m showing my age but I remember when girls had to wear dresses to school, the Beatles came to Seattle, Elvis came to Seattle, Martin Luther King and John Kennedy were assassinated. Yes, there are happy memories as well as sad.

My point is, how well do you really know your family? It’s so easy to start the dialog. A simple question from a grandchild can be “What games did you play when you were my age?” Or asking to see the family album and talking about the different pictures.

Of course, as a genealogist, I would love to tell you to make sure you record these conversations. Perhaps this would be a good time to make a date for a less chaotic time when you can sit down and really talk to your elders. We are losing our tradition of passing down oral history from generation to generation. We are losing so much rich family culture and knowledge.

My task for each of you this holiday is to find out just one story about your family’s history that you didn’t know before. And of course, write it down!

Dame Sheila

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