google-site-verification: google65e716d80989ba07.html Talk to the Living | The Armchair Genealogist

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.


geneabloggers said...

Great article - thanks for stressing the importance of working with relatives now rather than recreating their memories later.

And congrats to your parents on their anniversary!

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

I couldn't agree with you more. From experience.

As a young woman, even though at the time I had no interest in genealogy, I thought it might be neat to record my grandmother's stories and remembrances. I do remember some of them, but if I'd actually gotten that tape recorder over to her house, I'd have a lot more.

But I let life intervene with its slaps and slams, and never got around to it. Then she died in 1978 and it was all gone.

So, yes, anyone who still has older relatives living should get on the stick and get those stories!

I have done some interview, via e-mail, of my one remaining elderly relative, my aunt in Michigan. She told me a great deal about my father, her husband's brother. I was only 7 years old when my father died, so any information I get about him is welcome. My mother died in 1980, so there's no more information available there.

Get those stories while you still can. And those of us who are now the oldsters should write ours down and pass them along to the younger generations.

Lynn Palermo said...

I actually gave my parents today for there aniversary a recollections book. Each page has a calendar date in it and a question about their life together and as children. They can put it by their chair and while they have their coffee each morning they can write down their memory to the question of the day. I hope this will help in recording those stories we long to hear, often too late.

Anonymous said...

You have inspired me to start my own blog about my own family history! Thank you.