While my wife and I were visiting out-of-state relatives recently, one of our daughters was taking advantage of her public library’s provision of a free genealogical program to do some research on her ancestors. (Finally! I thought. Family history holds interest for her, if not yet for her siblings!) Nearly every day of our vacation, she e-mailed me to share new discoveries she was making. In one such e-mail, she quoted from a letter that one relative had written to another.
“We want to live in the present,” he said, “and the only history that is worth [anything] is the history we make today.” Sadly, that seems to be the attitude of many (maybe most?) people today, too. And with the devaluing and debunking of our history we see in our schools and media, that situation promises only to get worse. But Henry Ford’s later life indicated that he might have begun to change his mind about history, that he had begun to see benefits of history. As he saw
Growing up as a kid, I thought that all grandparents–not only my own but also those of my friends–were old. After all, they had white, silver, or gray (or graying) hair, wrinkles, arthritis, and assorted aches and pains, and they couldn’t get outside and play ball or tag with me. I loved Momma Graybeal and the horehound or peppermint stick candy she kept in a crystal dish on a cabinet behind her front door. And she always let me have a piece–for a price. I had to let her hug
While passing through our utility room on my way to the garage the other day, my attention was attracted to (or perhaps distracted by would be more precise) a shoe box on a shelf above the dryer. Now what could that be? I wondered. Although I’d passed through the room many times a day, day after day, I couldn’t recall seeing the box there. I forgot why I was going to the garage and stopped to take down the box and examine its contents. What I discovered inside held my attenti
Individual soldiers and sailors, however, might offer a variety of other days that they consider to have been the “greatest,” depending on where they were serving and what they were doing at the time. For some, it might have been their involvement in the Doolittle raid on April 18, 1942. For others, it might have been the invasion of Guadalcanal on August 7, 1942. Or it might have been the day of one of any number of many invasions, bombing runs, and other military actions ac
“Doing genealogy” can occur at several different levels, from hobbyist to obsessive compulsive. Over the years, I’ve done my genealogical research in fits and starts, so I guess that I’m more on the hobbyist end of the continuum, although some people think I slide somewhat nearer the other end. It’s all a matter of perspective–and how much time and money you have to devote to the pursuit. My initial motivation was the result of a sudden realization that I didn’t know much abo
Shortly after I posted that essay, Charles Moore, who has been following my blog for a while, contacted me to suggest that I might enjoy a blog post of his that he wrote a couple of years ago. I checked it out and was so impressed that I read it twice! In a gesture of friendship and for the sake of the possibility that his essay might encourage someone else to read and write stories about their own life and genealogy for future readers, Mr. Moore gave me permission to reprint
This past weekend, I attended what has become an annual event but that I have been able to attend only a couple of times–the reunion of the Peterson family, descendants of Tobias Peterson. No matter how often I’m able to attend these reunions, however, I always meet someone I’ve never known, or someone I’ve only heard of from other family members. Invariably, when I meet them, they always mistake me for my older brother Dale (one of the fortunate–or unfortunate–results of bei