You know how each family has a member that gets or takes the job as historian. My mother loved researching and going through old photos, some dating back to 1901. When she passed the torch, I could see that this was going to be a huge undertaking. I became my family historian by default, as the sole survivor, but accepted the responsibility gladly. My middle daughter, Jordan, is the one most interested in genealogy in her generation, although we have been known to give her a hard time, because she sometimes slants the facts to her liking. She is a writer, though, so she only makes things more interesting! My oldest granddaughter, Olivia, is taking the lead in her family.
The one tool that has helped me tremendously in the past is Q & A books that prompt you as you interview older family members. When I first married, I was envious about the wealth of knowledge my husband’s family had in older folks. I gave these out as presents to his grandparents, parents and aunts. I think some were used by that family and their generation’s historian, Nikki.
My oldest daughter and her whole family came up from Oklahoma this past weekend. Between family parties, visits with their old friends and ice bucket challenges, I grabbed as much of their time as I could. My two youngest daughters and I met them in Wichita so we could all visit together. Aubrae has put the law down about having me all to herself on visits. Hard to believe that she thinks I get distracted when all three of my girls, my son-in-law and my three grandchildren all pile in to my one bedroom loft!
From the moment we hit my front door, Olivia was by my side. There were some “firsts” for my place. First molar lost. First birthday cake frosting job, for her mother’s birthday later in the month. Olivia completed both with ease. These tasks inevitably led to a deep discussion with the birthday girl concerning her desire to blur the line on the year she was born. The harder part of the entire history fact checking mission was trying to sort out my family tree, because Olivia never got the chance to meet any of those branches. Every so often, in this in depth conversation, her face would just go blank – too much information. By the time dinner was ready she suggested that I write a book so she could keep it all straight.
One of my greatest intentions, little one.