I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into my family tree, the branches of which wind through England, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, Poland and into western Russia and Ukraine. I have found Ancestry.com to be a terrific tool for finding new information and keeping it all in one place.
Last night, I realized—since my father passed away, my grandmother is our family’s only living link to our German Mennonite ancestors from Eastern Europe. I really want my daughter to know about that part of her family’s past, so I decided to call my grandmother today.
I’m glad I did. For 94 years old, she’s incredibly spry, but her sharp mind just doesn’t recall things the way it used to. Even basic facts took a moment to come to her.
When I was younger, I had many conversations with my other grandmother, on my mother’s side, which I still treasure to this day. She was younger then and able to have longer, more detailed conversations with me.
One of these days, I’d love to write it all up for N—including my own memories of the days before computers and the internet, when we actually had to write things by hand! Or look up facts in an actual encyclopedia! Or send someone a letter through the mail—before it was known as “snail mail!”
I love those links to the past and hope my daughter will appreciate them too…
Julie – I’m so glad you enjoy doing the research on your family for Natalie. I know Greg is doing some work in his side and I want to share the things I’ve saved over the years from my family. I scanned the love letters that my dad’s parents wrote to each other in 1898 and 1899, my mother’s family records back for 13 generations and copies of the Confederate Army cards for my dad’s grandfather which document everything from his “Muster-in” through his wounding at Gettysburg where he became a Prisoner of War. We have so much to treasure from our ancestors and I’m so happy you have become our family’s historian.