Saturday, 5 April 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014: E is for Elderly Relatives

Gosh, this is one I wish I had heard about before I started researching my family tree.  It just never occurred to me to 'interview' my elderly relatives - because I thought I could get all the information I needed/wanted from documents.  That's all well and good, but how about the clues you need in order to find the documents in the first place?

www.a-to-zchallenge.com
Also, once you have done a bit of names-dates-places research, you find yourself wanting to know about the setting.  Not just the stuff  you can get out of history books, but what it was actually like when Grandma was a young woman, what it was actually like when Grandpa was a naive young soldier in World War I.

"Were they made to go to Church?  Did your grandma have to wear a corset for her family photo - and hated it, making her look as though she is crying in the picture?  My father told how the village policeman took one look at him and hauled him off (by the ear) to his mother, just in case he was 'up to no good'.  My father was only 10 years old.  On a national level - was your great-grandfather a Democrat or a Republican?  Did your grandfather always stand up, wherever he was, when the National Anthem was played?" [SFA manual COG202, p6]




9 comments:

  1. I wish my dad was around(he'd be 101) as I would be asking him more questions. The good thing, I guess, is that, growing up, my dad was in his 60's when I was a teenager but I was always interested in hearing stories so I got some great ones. My dad and his family were believers in ghostly tales. He also sold Rolly's Good Health products in a buggy with his dad and I have the case!

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  2. Gosh! Well done you for listening as a teenager! ;o) I am glad you got such great stories. Better write them down so they don't get lost in the mists of time...

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  3. Ros,

    A couple of months ago I found out my husband only knows the name of one of his four grandparents. He has no idea who these relatively close family members were. I wondered why he was never curious and didn't ask questions. I knew all 4 of my grandparents intimately. I think in some families there are black sheep stories and things that 'shouldn't be spoken about', that prevent family histories from being passed down through the generations. Anyway, my husband's parents are both dead but he has an auntie who should know the stories of these relatives. I keep meaning to email her so I can ask her some questions about my children's great grandparents. I think after reading your post I might get on and do this before it is too late!

    Family history is very interesting and in some ways also important, not only for individual families, but for society in general. You have a very interesting blog!

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    1. I wasn't curious as a child or a teenager, in fact I thought family stories were quite boring. Now I regret it. So, do go and speak to that auntie!

      Thanks for stopping by

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  4. It's interesting and exciting to trace one's family routes. It's a good idea to get some information and get to know a little history about our ancestors. My grandparents both my father and mother's side have passed away. But I have fond memories of them.

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    1. Write those memories down, Diana! You'll be glad you did one day!

      Thanks for stopping by

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  5. Tracing back our family routes is one of the most interesting and exciting tasks. My grandparents both my Mom's and Dad's side have passed away, but I have fond memories of them. I wish I could do more to know about our family roots. Loved your blog.

    I also blog at dianasmusings.wordpress.com

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  6. Great idea for a blog. I always thought genealogical work is most like unraveling a mystery. There are lots of twits and turns and it is never what you expected! Good luck with A-Z challenge. Happy Writing!

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  7. Thanks to talking to my mom about her family, I found the house where my great-grandparents lived, their church, and their grave. It was in the SW of Sweden and my mom had never been there. It was a very special feeling, so I recommend getting as much information as possible while the elderly relatives are still around.

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