11 Jan

Challenges for future Genealogist.

This week’s #52ancestors prompt is challenge. I had a hard time with this one, but then I stumbled upon something I wrote in 2014.

An open letter to my descendants:


Twenty-two years ago, at the fabulous age of 18, I embarked on a journey to discover my family history. As of today, I have just over 7000 people whom I have discovered. Each one of them have taught me something. Over these years, the way I find them has rapidly changed. Back then, I would sit in a quiet library and pour through microfilms, age old books and newspapers. In the name of technological progress, our society, for better or worse, has become an immediate needs society. We want what we want, as fast as we can get it. Which means I can now search the Internet for many of these things. Which has led me to a somewhat scary conclusion...if you take up this quest, as me and my favorite uncle George Joseph have, the way you will learn about us, will be very different than I learned about my ancestors. 


Sadly, I have Facebook friends who have passed away, their Facebook pages remain after they are gone. These sites contain pictures which may be forever preserved. Which is a good thing. BUT...Many people, even local news at times, (when there is a tragedy and they need to report on it) visit these pages and think they can know who these people were. 


I assure you, I am much more than my Facebook makes me seem. According to Facebook, I am a mother of five who likes to drink wine and hates traffic. This is true...but I am a bit more than that 😊at least I hope so...


So, my message is this, brought to you in this public forum, so someday if you choose to learn about me you may see it, and you can make me a promise...don't just look on the surface. If you want to know me, dig deep. Talk to my children, and hopefully my grandchildren and great grandchildren. Read the letters I wrote, find the items that were special to me, that I leave behind in their care. If I have learned anything from genealogy, it’s that the best secrets and the greatest treasures are buried deep. 


Don't only scratch the surface...it's hard to move mountains without digging. 


BTW. This applies to almost everything in life. At least in my humble opinion...And I am opinionated. That's all I'll tell you. You figure out the rest. 





Reading this now a little over 4 years later, I recognize again what a challenge it will be for the future genealogist. Oh, they will have plenty of content, but will it help them learn who we are? How many of us have searched and searched for the one shred of evidence that would give us incite to our ancestor’s personality or who they were as people. What their laugh might have sounded like, who their friends were, what they liked to do in their spare time. Our descendants will face the challenge of the hunt, but it will be different than ours. I suppose that is the real key to genealogy after all, to see how much we are different, but to prove and remember how much we are actually alike.

* The email will not be published on the website.