Saturday, 27 October 2012

Day 27: Family History

I'm not posting a picture of a 300-year-old gravestone in honour of halloween.  No, instead it's in honour of my family history.  Most of the people listed on that stone are my relatives.  

Every family is full of stories.  Stories most people don't even know are in their own families.  Stories like my Mennonite great-great-grandmother Anna fleeing from the Soviet army in a covered wagon while being shot at.  With her three children, leaving three graves behind her.  Or my great-grand-nanny Catherine being a beauty queen and only using milk to wash her face instead of soap.  Or my great-grandfather Robert helping to build the Queen Mary ocean liner, and my Papa watching the ship's launch from his top-floor window when he was very young.

How did I learn these stories?  By listening.  I sat down with my grandparents on several occasions and just listened as they told me about their past, their ancestors, and their history.  Without this passing down of stories, most of them would be lost.  As it is, I'm already fuzzy on some of the details, and I'd love to sit down with each of my three grandparents to discuss these stories again.

A few months ago, I stood outside with my Papa and listened to him tell me about The Story Hour radio program that he listened to in Scotland as a child.  I was fascinated, and honoured to be able to spend that time learning from the sweetest man alive.

Do you know your family's stories?


  1. As my parents get older, they are sharing more and more of their history with me. I love hearing about the war in England where they grew up, the travels of my father as a young man and most especially about my grandparents and their families.

  2. I totally agree! I've heard some of their stories and it only makes me want to hear more. And I've lost many of my older relatives - my grandpa is the only of his siblings (seven) left alive now, and my grandparents on my mom's side died before I was even born. My mom's aunt (my great-aunt) died a few years ago, so I'm relying on my aunt (my mom's older sister) for family memories. I need to work on asking more questions when I see them... :)


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