While searching for your “ancient” roots, remember to write your own story. If you are not good with the written word, tape your story – record on your computer.  Start at the beginning of your youth, your relationship with your parents and siblings, where you went to grammar school, high school, college, etc. Who were your friends at these schools and your favorite things to do with them; family trips and memories of them; what you remember about your grandparents.

Most of these things your grown children do not know. Remember ... you are part of history – maybe not history to publish in a book, but certainly part of your family history. Perhaps if you are divorced, record what really happened and why. Your feelings and emotions may explain so much more to your grown children when you are gone. Your recording may reveal a whole new understanding of you and their lives. So many times in my classes, I hear seniors say that they wished they had asked more questions of their parents and paid more attention when they were told things, e.g. who really is Aunt Rose? Is she a genetic aunt or a friend I called "Aunt?" And what was her real name? 

Dee Notaro is an amateur genealogist based in Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.A.).  Her own ancestral background is made up of a mixture of cultures, including her Irish forebears who hailed from County Sligo.  Dee teaches classes on genealogical research and is passionate about helping others find answers to their ancestry questions.

Views: 465

Tags: Ancestry, Genealogy

Comment by Gerry Regan on May 7, 2014 at 2:17pm

So true, Dee. I've been keeping a written, mostly daily diary since January 1974, begun when I was a student at Trinity College Dublin. I've chronicled highlights -- and lowlights -- in my 61 years, using millions of words. I recorded my Grandma Sue's reflections on the history of her family and that of my grandfather in a 60-minute recorded interview in July 1977, when she was 79 or 80. This has provided quite a few breakthroughs for me, and I suspect will lead me to even more when I focus on more of her words. She died two years later. I have about nine hours of audio interviews completed with my father, some of which were poignant, some contentious, a few completed in the last decade of his life, most in his last three years. Those efforts, and these were efforts, are now priceless. I remember how anxious I was about getting him and my mom, when she was alive, to turn off the soap operas and have a genuine conversation. 

Comment by Dee Notaro on May 7, 2014 at 2:19pm

I do not understand why in this era of electronics people do not think to do this. Letters have gone by the wayside, cards, emails, sometimes one can long to hear a mother or father's voice no matter our age,

Comment by Jean Sullivan Cardinal on May 9, 2014 at 10:47am

Thanks for the tip.  I'm so wrapped up in finding out about my ancestors I never thought of the next generation wanting to know about me.


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