Genealogy Quotes - The Family Story Teller
We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who has gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes.
Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story.
So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors, ‘You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us.’
How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? Icannot say.
It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can’t let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.
It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth, without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.
With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.
That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those whom we had never known before.
“We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted… Each of us contains within… this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise.” –
– Edward Sellner
“If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row,
would you be proud of them or not? Or don’t you really know? But here’s another question which requires a different view. If you could meet your ancestors, would they be proud of you?”
– Nellie Winslow Simmons Randall
“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”
– Alex Haley
“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage- to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness. ”
― Alex Haley
If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separate – each segment distinct.
~Letty Cottin Pogrebin
A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.
“Remember and honor family who have come and gone before you, because they had a hand in shaping who you are.”