Your personal history is priceless

5/09/2016 11:13:00 AM

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I know you might think your life is mundane, that you have no exceptional talents or interesting ideas or insights. But I promise you many of your descendants will think otherwise. 

As far as my husband's side of the family goes, he got the jackpot in family letters, pictures, memory books, and journals. But my father's side? I have very little; a few trinkets, a book full of photographs of which only 3 individuals are identified, no journals, no letters, and few other photos. I know these people I've tracked through censuses, land records, church records, and cemeteries lived and loved deeply. I can reconstruct a vague picture of their surroundings and major events they went through based on the history of the areas they lived in. Yet I know so little about them. I get excited just finding their signature on a document. I long to know what their day to day life was like, who was important to them, what they thought about religion, or politics, or their neighbors. Either records weren't ever kept, or they weren't valued enough to preserve, or are they are hiding in a distant cousins basement. 

You are important. Your story is important.  Don't let it fade away with you. Keep a journal or write it down in some other way. Save important letters and photos and beg your children to save them too. There isn't any right or wrong way to do it, so long as you do it. 

Your descendants might take courage and strength from your stories. They might understand things differently as they look at the world through your eyes. They might even learn from mistakes and regrets that you share. They will be able to come to know you and love you more than you can imagine. Keeping a record is one of the greatest gifts you will give to your posterity. Make some time today to begin.