Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Usual Suspects...

Just like any good detective, genealogy researchers start by talking to the witnesses.  In this case, your family members.   If you think about it, how often do you get to talk to your siblings?  Not often i would think, with everyone's busy schedules, work, family, etc.  I barely see some of my family, maybe once or twice a year.  With that in mind, make it a special occasion for you all to get together.  A family lunch just to get together, no particular holiday or special event. 

Explain to your family what work you've done so far and what questions have come up.  See if they remember any particular details (what job they held, what clubs they belonged to, etc).  Some new info, or a new angle, may come up that will help you in your investigation.  To share a personal story, i had been talking to my sister and one brother when they were visiting.  The subject of our father's family came up, as we didn't know much information at the time.  My sister mentioned that my grandfather died from complications of Parkinson's disease - a fact I never knew.  What a surprise!  Medical histories can be beneficial to families, especially when knowing there is a potential for recurrence in future generations. 

Bring out the family albums so all can see, giving a visual cue that may spark a memory or two.  It's also a great idea to share family photos so each family member can have a copy of the older pics.  See if they can bring some of their albums too, so you can see which photos to get copies of for your own collection.

Even if it doesn't get you a ton of answers, a day with your family can be a perfect gift, a good memory to share, and a tradition to pass on.   In future get-togethers, visit your cousins, uncles, aunts, and so forth.  Bringing a family close is the greatest result.


Post a Comment