In searching family histories we can find names as well as birth, marriage and death dates. We learn the names of children for future research.
What we can't find out is the daily events both ordinary and major of their lives.
Once I tried to get my Aunt Evelyn, for whom the name Drama Queen had to be coined, about the Boudreaus. At 80+ she was a great story teller but not willing to try a new fangled tape recorder.
Thus I will never know:
- Why she and Aunt Bert were still fighting abut Aunt Bert's prom dress
- Why the family moved from Arashat, Nova Scotia to Medford, MA
- What it was like being an immigrant
- How hard was it to learn English
- More about Aunt Lillie's affair with her boss
- What was the name of the ship?
- What was the crossing like?
- What was it like to live where Calvinism was at odds with Catholicism?
- Were the Calvinist responsible?
- What was life like when he first arrived?
- Where did he live?
- How did he become a general?
- What did they eat?
- What was it like to have so many children?
I had ancestors that fought in the American Revolution. Why? How long? What did it feel like to come home after the war? What did the new country feel like.
I wish I knew where my cousins Joanie and Cynthia were.
That is just the start.
As a kid I tuned out older relatives when they talked about the past. It seemed boring. As an adult, I see hundreds of stories.
Moral: Ask your living relatives today.