These are further musings as a result of an earlier post, Two Degrees of Separation, at the end of which I commented that 200 years had passed since the birth of my 3rd great-grandmother. Said great-grandmother knew my grandmother, and yet no accounts of said 3rd great-grandmother were ever passed along -- at least not along our family lines to me.
In fact, it seems that I come from a long line of non-storytellers. Or maybe it was just my parents and grandparents who didn't tell stories. I've never met any of my earlier ancestors because they died before I was born.
But what if my ancestors did tell the stories? What if they told the stories of their lives
to their children and grandchildren and shared memories of their parents and grand-parents? What if the children and grandchildren didn't pass on those stories? What if my ancestors told the stories and only a few of the grandchildren
remembered? Maybe other descendants and their families know these
stories and my siblings and I are the only ones who don't.
Even if my 3rd-great-grandmother kept a journal it could not have passed
to every single one of her descendants. If she kept a journal and it
survived, it would likely be in the hands of only one person (who is, unfortunately, not me). If it has survived for 150 years and the descendant into whose possession it landed is not interested in family history, she may not know that a great-grandmother wrote it. She may consider it a piece of junk. And think of how many descendants into whose hands it could be. Probably several hundred by now.
I suppose I'm moaning a little; and also feeling a little envious of those who do have stories and journals and photographs of ancestors. If you have them, treasure them. Preserve them. Do what you can to share the stories, both with your descendants and online so others who may suddenly develop an interest can find them.
Yes, I do wish I were a designated descendant!
Copyright © 2014 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.