Today’s Tip is pretty simple and one that you all most likely already know: Remember as you do your work, that to draw in family, we must be about much more than names, dates, and documents!
Yes, there is no doubt that these aspects of our work are important. We must gather the names, the dates, the places, and the documents to provide evidence of our conclusions on our ancestors. BUT there is an entirely different side to our work that MUST be kept in focus. That is the human side of our families! The culture of our families. The people behind the names.
It is only by focusing in the person behind the name that we will carry on the true culture, values, strength, and love of our ancestors and our grand families.
I realized the other day that I am the last in my family who will remember hearing the Czech voices of my Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents.
I got to thinking: How will I carry on the intense love and respect of my Bohemian ancestors with them not even being a memory to all the others that are following me? Sure, a tree that clearly shows the roots of our past growing for generations in Bohemia. Sure, documents that come from the Bohemian archives and are in Czech. Sure, but do those items show the culture? Do those items show the sacrifices made? Do they imbue a new generation with a pride in having that as part of themselves? Probably not.
What we all need to do is weave the cultural/values fabric of our ancestors into our work thorough photographs and stories! We must not lose that which was so precious to our ancestors. That sparkle in their eyes when they spoke of ‘home’. That lift in their voices when they told their favorite stories. That sternness in their voices when they were teaching us a valuable life-lesson.
So remember, to capture their love is our task. To capture their values, their caring, their style is paramount.
So the next time you add a name on the tree, be sure to add a story or a comment.
And feel the love!
Onward To Our Past, Scott