Talk to the Living | The Armchair Genealogist
Start Looking

Talk to the Living

Today is my parents 49th Wedding Anniversary. In honour of their years together, the numerous memories and good times we have shared, I decided to write about how important it is to talk to the living. The Internet with it's vast amount of immediate information is extremely significant in today's family history research. However, it will never replace the importance of talking to your living relatives while they are still with us to share their stories and memories. In recent months I have taken my own advice and reached out to family members who I may not have spoken to in quite sometime. What I have discovered is that once they understood my quest they were generally quite excited to help. Sometimes they can't think how they can possible help but then a few months later, after having put the thought in their head they come across something that they think I might appreciate.
A few months ago, my mother contacted her Uncle, who was happy to pass along what information he had. He passed away last week. Uncle Jean Paul was muched loved and although I rarely had the chance to visit with him I will be sure that his information passed along to me will be documented on behalf of him and his ancestors.
A few months ago, I found a second cousin on facebook and since then she has provided me with some great information for the family tree. She herself is very interested in genealogy so she was quite willing to help. My fingers are crossed pictures are coming soon.
Another family member my Aunt Jackie came across a book that someone had given to her on her father's family history. She gave it to me. Although this book is in French, my mother and I will translate it. It focuses mostly on my great grandfathers brothers' family but we have found a couple of gems in this book. First it takes my grandfather's family back to France in the late 1600's and secondly we found a picture in the book of my grandfather as a small toddler he is sitting with his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather. This picture is a remarkable find with 4 generations of Desmarais men. I was thrilled.
So I cannot stress to you how important it is to get your genealogy message out to your family. Let them know what you are doing. Include them in your quest because you do not know what treasures they may uncover packed away in a photograph box, a dusty drawer or stashed on the bookshelf. Don't wait any longer, your best research tool still remains your living relatives.