|marriage certificate information for my maternal great grandfather|
I have been spending countless hours delving into the past, of recreating lives that have been lived some less than one hundred years ago, many of them hundreds of years ago. I'm stitching together the pieces of the quilt that make up my life and the lives of my children so that there is a story left to be told about the roots that have bound us together.
I've talked about this before and I've talked about my fascination, maybe it's even an obsession with those who came before and "who" they were. Their stories and their journeys. Some of it will have been heart breaking and difficult. Some of it I could never imagine having to face. All of it history...their history, which is now my history and part of my story.
|photographs of my paternal relatives|
|copy of a photograph of my paternal grandmother and great-grandparents taken shortly before they left England to come to Canada|
In the past, families told their stories to one another and passed on family history and lore in that way. Some families didn't bother and just got on with the job of living, making it from one day to the next. In my family there was a lot of story telling and as a child I listened and I've remembered much of what I heard. Now of course I wish I had asked more questions, about things that are coming to my mind now, at this stage in my own life and sadly, there is no one left to ask those questions of. I've discovered too many photographs without names and dates and places so I spend a great amount of time absorbing what I'm seeing and trying to recreate from what information I have at hand to who, what and where.
In one of the photographs above my paternal great grandfather stands with a young boy. No name is attached to the photograph of who that young boy is. But through research I now know that he is my great grandfather's nephew by marriage (the nephew of my great grandmother), the photograph taken on a return visit to England in the 1930s not long before my great grandfather passed away.
I scour for all this information as much for my children as I do for myself. They have no cousins, no other close relations with whom to share or glean information. I don't wish this history and herstory to die with me. I want it to continue on and to give my children some sense of where they've come from as they head out to where they are going.