The Story Tellers
are the chosen.
My feelings are that 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. To me, doing genealogy is not a cold
gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into
all who have 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? I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documenting
facts. It goes to who I am and why I do the things I
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 bones, 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 they
fought to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep
and immense understanding that they were doing it for
us. 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 them and
they are us.
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 their 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 put flesh on the bones."
Published in the Quebec Family
History Society's Connections magazine. The original
author was Della M. Cummings Wright and the piece was
re-written by her grand daughter, Della JoAnn McGinnis