Friday, April 15, 2016

"Lost" Relatives & Ancestors

In doing family research and writing the history of our ancestors, we may find some we didn't know existed.  However, the ones I'm referring to as "lost," are those who don't have descendants.  Will anyone  remember them in years to come?  Will anyone share stories about them?  Or will they "drop off the radar" in the years after they've passed away?
As I record memories and family data, I realize several aunts and uncles, two of my mom's cousins and a close family friend played a role in my life, but have no children to record stories about them.  Will they become forgotten or "lost" if I don't collect their information?
I have memorabilia my mom had accumulated.  However, if I don't identify it, no one will know whose it was and what it was for.  My daughter may recall vague stories I may have told her, but nothing significant.
For instance....
*Cousin Ina was a model in New York City in the 1920s.  She later took over her husband's insurance business when he died and successfully earned a living.  Ina took trips to places that fascinated us when she showed pictures and told stories.  She also made up stories about the little elves that lived beside our bubbling brook when all took a dip in the swimming hole.  
*Cousin Ella was a small dignified woman who often spent a week with us in the summer.  She enjoyed walks in the meadows around the farm, looking for wild flowers and listening for birds.
*Auntie (Mother's sister) had a cheerful laugh and was an excellent cook.  I wrote a poem about her, "The Cookie Lady."  After she passed away, I was given the notebook in which she wrote family recipes collected from family members and neighbors.
Do you have family members and ancestors who may fall through the cracks if you don't record your memories of them?  The challenge is to find time to organize the memorabilia.  Then to make copies for family members who are interested.