GENEALOGY AND WHY WE DO IT
We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find the
ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the
family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life
into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All
tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have
gone before cry out to us: Tell our story. So, we do. In finding them, we
somehow find ourselves.
How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times
have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us."
How many times have I walked up to a grave and
felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who we are and why we do
the things we do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds
and indifference and saying I can't let this happen.
It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.
How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their
hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to
go on and build a life for their family. Without them we would not exist.
So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to you, the next
answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.