Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Family Stories That May Be Lost Forever

Thank you! I have made contact with family members I didn't even know existed. By researching the Cornett/ Sutherland heritage on the web site, I have connected with others who are researching the same family as I am and what do you know? They're actually family. This is very exciting! The branches of my tree have become so tangled and intertwined, but in such a good way. What a great way to share data gathered through web sites such as Ancestry, and being able to share that knowledge with your own family, is priceless.

Image Source: Family Stories
Photo Credit: Andrew Bret Wallis

I was just talking to my oldest son, John, who was recently asking about our ancestry. He has become somewhat curious about who his relations were back in the "old days". I was so excited that he even asked, that I think I may have bored him with my rantings of our family tree and what I had found so far. When I was his age, I "tuned out" my family when I heard the stories of ancestors past. Now I'm kicking myself for not paying attention! I went into my own little world of music and television so I didn't have to listen to boring stories that related to history of people I never even knew. Today, I really wished I had recorded their stories in some way. Now that the older generations in my family have passed on to a better place, there is no way I can get that history, or even the stories back. The stories seem to have died with them. 

Family stories casually chatted about at the dinner table, or told again and again at family gatherings can parallel great epics or notable short stories. The memorable stories of our lives and of others in our family take on special importance because they are true, even if everyone tells different versions of the same event. These tales are family heirlooms held in the heart not in the hand.

So knowing that I lost those memories forever, how do I continue my research into a quest for family stories that relate to my family? Any suggestions?


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