Monday, June 16, 2014

Why wouldn't you want to know about your ancestors?

I have to confess to not understanding those folks who don't care a fig about getting to know their ancestors. It's so much fun, isn't it? Sure, a lot of hard work and challenges, but fun in the end. Mom's sister Dot had no interest in genealogy even when Mom talked about it and told her stories about their shared ancestors who had interesting lives. On more than one occasion Mom offered to help Dot get started, especially on her husband's Conrad side, but she'd have none of it. Kinda funny because Dot's son and my cousin Steve is an avid genealogist, when he's not playing golf.

I bring this up because recently I asked Mom how she came to have such an impressive collection of family photos. Probably got them from her mother I thought, but wanted to confirm the occasion and circumstances. I was sorting through the photo file while making up an ancestor book for Mom's cousin Bill and thought about how fortunate it is that we have so many pictures of our ancestors. They all had big families and we are missing pictures of some of them but it is surprising how complete her collection is. But how did she get so many?

She told me that after her mother Emma died in 1956 and they were cleaning out the house, Dot took the photos. Dot didn't value them but before throwing them out called Mom to ask if she wanted them. Of course Mom did! It has become a precious family treasure.

Mom kept on adding to her stash over the years and got or copied many more pictures from cousins near and far. They would even call her and say, "I have this box of old family photos in the attic. Do you want them?" Mom always said yes.

Every time I sort through them I notice a new one and today here's the one that jumped out. Why hadn't I noticed it before?

Emma Susan (Whetstone) Williams, Mom's mother, holding Mom.
About 1919.
How precious is this photo to me, I can't even say.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, yes, I wonder, too, how people can't be interested in their ancestors. And yet, I think about myself 30 or 40 years ago and (while I wasn't offered the opportunity to learn about them because no one wanted to talk) I wonder if I would have accepted a large box of photographs of people I didn't know. I hope I would have but I guess it gives me a little understanding of why people might pass on old photographs.

    I can completely understand how precious this photo is. It's wonderful that you have it!