Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Plan a Road Trip!!

My Aunt Daisy made sure that her family knew the importance of family history. When I was a little girl I looked at my aunt as someone who had been alive forever and personally knew all of her ancestors. She had an attic and a barn full of really neat stuff and it all belonged to my ancestors.

The greatest thing about my aunt was that she took time to make sure that all of her family knew the story of their ancestors. She didn't just do a lot of research and pass it on to whoever wanted to read it. No! She made sure that everyone in her family wanted to absorb it. And treasure it. And make it a part of their lives. And they did.

She did not worry about what repository she was going to donate her research to when she passed away. She knew that she had laid the foundation of genealogy within her family and it would carry on from there. Granted some of the larger items in the attic and barn went to museums, but the smaller items were distributed among the family members. And because they knew their family history, these pieces of jewelry, silverware, linens, dinnerware had meaning for the person who now was allowed the privilege of owning them. It was a privilege for me to own a pin from the Civil War era that belonged to my great, great grandmother. I knew who she was. She had sons who fought for the Union in the Civil War. But she was born in Kentucky and also had family in the Confederacy.

So how do you keep your research from being stored in the stacks of a local library? You show your family their roots.

Last week my granddaughter and I visited Germany. We never left my kitchen. We did it all online. Who's idea was it? It was Chrisi's. She asked me what Tennessee was like and I told her to just "Google" Nashville. After she took a tour of Nashville, she decided that since she has strong German roots on both sides of her family, she wanted to see Germany. So we did. Online!

Of course, Chrisi has already been exposed to her roots in Kentucky and southern Ohio. She and her older sister, Tabi, have "walked the ground" where their ancestors have walked. They have stood on the banks of the Ohio River. The river their ancestors crossed when they left Kentucky and came to Ohio.

I am seeing so many lectures lately about "what to do with your research". Let's quit worrying about that and get those grandkids, nieces and nephews out there in those cemeteries, at those old homesteads, in the small towns, on the banks of the rivers where our ancestors "wrote" our family stories. 

Summer is almost here. School is almost out. Plan a road trip with the kids!!

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