Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stories Old Folks Tell

Now it's called genealogy, but when I was a kid, it was just the stories the old folks told.  Now it is important as a source of history.  We have these memories that should be told or written, but surely shared. 

It's funny how we think of history as something that happened two hundred years ago, but the things that happened when I was a child as just my memories.  No, that's history too.  I know it is just my memory, maybe just my history, but it is part of the events and the thinking and the attitude of the period.  And it is still history if it just happened today.

We think that for something to be historical it has to be an explosion or impact great bodies of people or cost lots of money.  No, some of the smallest things are still historical and they may be of great value to future generations if they are recorded.  If Abraham Lincoln's mother had kept a diary, we would have valued her memories on the day of his birth. I have read diaries of ordinary people and been amazed at their insight.  Sometimes I have been astounded at the mundane lives they endured.

Now we write blogs.  Is it the same?  A few are.  In fifteen years thay may be more or less than now.  In a hundred years, they will be trash or treasure.

I guess the thing is that for some of us writing is the important part, and for others the joy is in reading and agreeing or arguing with the author.  History will have to determine the ultimate value, whether what we write is significant or just an exercise for the mind.

Check out this article for more information about genealogy .

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