Hubby and I have been bitten by the family tree bug. We started to dabble at looking into our family history a few years ago after a family reunion but more recently we have taken it more seriously, signed up to an on-line family tree site and enjoy getting totally absorbed in it, sometimes for hours at a time. We are doing pretty well at unearthing our ancestors, we both had versions of family trees which had been passed on to us and which gave us a good starting point. Annoyingly, hubbies tree is growing much faster than mine, he has now got as far back as the early 1700’s and has other leads which look as though he will soon be back in the 1600’s– mine is well and truly stuck in the mid 1800’s – who knew that family ancestry could get so competitive!
So why is it that he is winning ‘The Race’? Simply that he has an older generation of family members still living who are able to delve in to the recesses of their minds. They remember names of aunts and great grandfathers; they can recall obscure facts and family stories from days gone by whereas with me I am the older generation of my family having lost both parents and their siblings.
Sadly when we are young enough to still have our family around us we are often too busy living in the present to want to listen to stories of what our parents or grandparent did. Talking to clients and also friends of my own age it is not uncommon to hear them say “I never knew that about my mother/father (insert other family member) until after they had died, I wish they had shared that ” This is why I now encourage people to document details of their life that they may take for granted but at some point in time their children/grandchildren will come to know.
It may sound silly but for me one burning question is just who did play the piano in grandma’s parlour? It was always there when I was growing up, I never learnt to play piano but I look back fondly on how I used to love banging the keys and making a horrendous noise while pretending to be a great concert pianist. Thinking about it now I cannot recall ever hearing anyone playing it and I will never know if anyone did because there is no one left to ask.