Saturday, December 30, 2017


     My son-in-law' mother died this fall. Her illness and deteriorating health was a nightmare. Along with this was an added disaster of finding that business affairs were not looked after or up to date.

    The critical things have been looked after and now the hard work begins to clean out and dispose of a life time of memories contained in a house.

    My son-in-law is an only child so all responsibility is on his shoulders. Going through a house sorting out things can make your head hurt. He had asked his mother to write on photos. Very little was done and you can't look over your Mother's shoulder to see that she does what you ask.

    So I received an email this morning suggesting that I write on my photos and anything else of family significance. My photos have all been written on.

    Now what my son-in-law was actually talking about is family history and how it is passed on or not passed on. He was reacting to his own loss of family history. I could have written the same thing when my father passed away. I wasn't prepared to ask him much as I hadn't been thinking about it. By the time I started asking questions it was too late. He couldn't recall what I wanted to know.

    Now that I'm elderly, what am I doing about passing on family history? Not much! First, I assume that my kids know much more than they do. Second: I think that there are many things that are of no interest to them. Third: I'm busy and so are my kids. Fourth: I'm not encouraging my kids to ask about family history. Fifth: I think I have many more things that I'm interested in.

    So our family history is very poorly passed on to  the next generations. We've had some degree of literacy for hundreds of years. Now we have wall to wall literacy with the Internet and yet we are doing a poor job of passing on family history. But we have also become spread across the globe. My ancestors came from England and the Ukraine at the beginning of the last century. Today we are global and not only spread across the globe but more mobile than ever.

    There are cultures with only oral history and they seem to have stories from hundreds or thousands of year ago. They live together in large extended families and tell the stories. They know what to tell and repeat it many times. 

    So to my son-in-law, I will go to work and label things and try and leave some information about the things I have.

    I have written many things on this blog about my family history. Is anybody going to go through it to get some understanding and picture of the life I've lived? 
   So to my son-in-law, I will go to work and label things and try and leave some information about the things I have.