Posts Tagged ‘Generations of Stories’
There is a great book called Hidden Sources Family History in Unlikely Places by Laura Szucs Pfeiffer. The point of the book is to briefly describe additional sources of records you might find around the house. Let’s look at a few sources that are not the usual vital records and census documents.
Artifacts are memorabilia passed down through the generations. These artifacts usually contain a story and some clues about the ancestor who first owned the artifact.
This artifact was just sent to me from a woman named Ginny. She married my cousin, Robert Brouk. Robert was a Flying Tiger in China 1941-1942. I just wrote a book about his brief life which included his war diary. Robert died three weeks after he and Ginny married. Ginny helped me fill in parts of Robert’s life and after I sent her a copy of his book, she sent me a few artifacts he brought home from China. This wooden box was one. It is an artifact I will treasure always.
Body Transit Records
Did your family have someone who served in World War I, World War II or beyond, and died during his service? My great-great-uncle Michael Kokoska served in World War I. He was killed in France. This letter is an example of a body transit record. It tells his father where his remains will be shipped.
This record came in a Burial File. The Burial File tells a lot about the soldier’s service, how he died, where he was buried, and even has letters from family members.
Dictionaries and other books
Last weekend I was sorting through some of my artifacts and came across the cover of a dictionary my mom passed to me. Most families write family information inside the cover of a family Bible and list the person’s name, birth date, who they married, and when they died. My grandmother listed these items on the inside cover of a dictionary! Always check the inside of old books before getting rid of them. You never know what you will discover!
I asked my son to write a guest post for me and gave him a few questions to answer. Here is what he had to say.
Why is my family history important to me?
So I can learn how far my family goes back in history.
One interesting thing I learned about my family history is:
My cousin was a Flying Tiger.
If I were interviewing my parents, I would ask these five questions.
1. Did you get expelled?
2. Favorite food
3. Worst grade
4. Favorite teacher
5. Best subject
Other things I want to know about my family history:
1. How many family members served in a war?
2. How many cousins do I have?
3. What is my oldest living family member?
4. Was my family rich?
5. Was my family ever famous?
Knowing where we came from and the history of our family gives us roots. It helps us understand why we live where we live, eat what we eat, act the way we do, and have the traditions we do.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to get you thinking about your family history.
- Why do I live where I live? Which part of my family came to this place to settle down? When did they come and why?
- My mom makes special desserts or meals for holidays. Where did those recipes come from? Why does she always make those same recipes year after year?
- Most of us have light colored hair and eyes. Or, most of us have darker colored skin and eyes. What is our background?
- Every year at Christmas my mom places a pickle on the tree and we have to look for it. The child that finds it gets a present. Why do we do this? Where did this tradition come from?
Just starting with a few of those questions will get a child thinking about his roots. The answers will also help the child come to a better understanding of who he is.
Hey kids! Have you heard the terms genealogy, family history and social history but are not quite sure what they mean? No so sure any of that can be exciting because isn’t history “boring”? I hope to show you that it can be exciting and fun.
Genealogy is defined as a study of the family. It identifies ancestors and their information.
Family history is defined as the research of past events relating to a family or families, written in a narrative form.
Social history is defined as the study of the everyday lives of ordinary people.
What does all this mean?
It means that you and your ancestors have stories that should be told. How they should be told is up to you. Are you crafty? Could you make a photo collage or scrapbook? Do you like to write? Could you write a short story about one of your ancestors? Do you draw? Could you sketch out a family tree?
Stop by soon for ways to tell your family’s stories.