Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#Wk2GenealogyDoOver : Taking a Look at Me

One of the suggested topics for this week's Genealogy Do-Over is to conduct a self interview.  I admit that it is easy to overlook recording our own information when we're knee deep in researching a branch of our family tree, but Thomas MacEntee has simple advice for us, "just start with yourself".  And it is time that I do more of that.

Thankfully, I received a gift that will help me.  Several years ago, soon after a son and his wife learned that they were expecting their first child, we two prospective grandmothers were given a copy of The Grandparent Book, a Keepsake Journal by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.(1)  It is a journal filled with simple prompts designed to jog our memory and space to record information we would like to share with our grandchildren.  It includes prompts about my family, where I grew up and other topics such as
  • Do you have any pets?
  • Where do you go on trips or vacations?
  • Some of my favorite quotes ...
  • What were some of your favorite books to read?
There is even space for pictures of me as a child, the house where I grew up, and a wedding photo.  When I first received the book, I wrote short paragraphs for five or six of the prompts, then placed that book on a shelf and frankly forgot about it until I read this week's topics.

Now the book is off the shelf with a pen clipped to the front cover.  Answering a prompt or two is something I can do while waiting for dinner to finish cooking, or having an extra 15 minutes before I need to leave for an appointment, or finding something productive to do when the night's TV offerings aren't particularly appealing.  My goal is to respond to most of the prompts by the end of this year, either through writing short paragraphs, listing information, or adding personal photos to the journal.  The book is also a reminder that there are a lot of ways to share and celebrate our family stories.

A second Do-Over topic for this year was to set some research goals.  Already I had decided to look for sources to validate (or question) information written in a family history booklet on one branch of my Norwegian Ancestors.  Remembering the Grandparent Book has provided me with another research goal as I write more information to share with my son and his family.  Once again, I'm finding that participating the Genealogy Do-Over is just what I'm needing to get me going for the new year.

(1)  Rosenthal, Amy Krouse  The Grandparent Book, a Keepsake Journal. Crown Publishing Group, 2009.  

No comments:

Post a Comment