I truly have come to believe what my byline says: You don't really know who you are until you know where you've been. But not everyone feels as I do. I have relatives who have said, "I don't look at the past, I only look forward." And, yet, there are millions of people interested in their past. So, I'm curious... why are you interested? Is it medical history? Is it curiosity? Is it love for a grandparent and knowing more about her/his history? Please let me know by posting on your blog.
Here are my reasons:
1) My grandparents lived in Norway and Italy -- far from me. Although I regularly visited, I always felt there was something missing... something my cousins had that I did not. I wanted to learn their history and where I really came from. Through genealogy research, I remember my grandparents and honor their lives.
2) I love history and the tangents I learn by studying an ancestor. I have learned about lumber on the Glomma, the soldier's life in Sweden, living in a Salesian college in Sicily. When someone is born in 1750, I immediately think we were colonies of England at the time. An ancestor died or was baptized in 1865? Well, there was the end of the civil war in the U.S. Historic events give the dates and people I learn about so much more meaning. And then to unfold a person's life, completely unknown at one point, is like watching a flower blossom from a bud.
3) I am somewhat of a romantic at heart. These people lived and loved, and I honor their lives by not forgetting them and bringing them back to life. Don't we all want to be remembered and feel like our lives had more meaning than our short time on this planet?
4) There are so many questions I did not get to ask my grandparents, and this is how I know them better and still have conversations with them, though they are now gone.
5) I grew up on Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. I still like nothing better than seeking the answers to mysteries.
6) I have made new friends and met new people, some of them relatives I did not know.
Please tell me why you do it!
Me with my Norwegian grandparents. Do you think the retro-loveseat dates me?
My Italian grandparents together. I'm not sure, but this was probably taken in Rome in the early 60's.
As Spock likes to say: Live long and prosper. (You have to be a Trekkie to get that, by the way.)