Sunday, May 30, 2010

Don't wait until tomorrow

It has been a very sad and challenging time for my husband,myself and our family. André(my father-in-law), passed away on the 17 April at 82 years of age.
I'am not speaking out of selfishness but April 2010, had one set of "plans" ( a trip to Ireland, including some research at the Nat'l Library and a quick visit to our Carroll family's village of Kilkenny), which were furiously blown apart.
If it wasen't also already compromised that at the same time in Europe, a certain Islandic volcano ( the one with the mile long name)blew its top. This closed the European airspace for almost 2 weeks.
It was just not written in the stars for us to go to Ireland this year.

The day after my FIL was admitted to hospital,I canceled the trip.

Then on the 17 April, we entered into a sad period that today still punctuated by the demands of paperwork and the opening of André's Estate.

Not to forget the clearing out and cleaning of the home. That already is a full-time job in itself and one which should be ongoing for the coming months.

That is our sad story...
Out of adversity, the genealogist in me may have to remain "dormant" but little things are a wake up call.

I'am at this time acutely aware of what is worth saving and cherishing .Notably when it comes to old photographs and old papers.I have had to bring together in a box all the old pictures, and begin going through them.

I want to show you a few to hit home my point that how sad it can be to find old family photographs with NO WRITING behind them. Leaving you many years later no clue who these people are in relation to you .

I'am more than sure that many an interesting find has been trashed due to lack of viable information.

Look at the following examples from my husband's family collection:

Who exactly is this attractive couple? Being taken before my husband's birth, we will never know. Why? Look below:

Not a single name or date on the back.

And who are these soccer playing young men??

This too will remain a secret.

We have manny more like these. Some are fuzzy,others taken too far away with only little "ant sized " sujects.Others feature my husband's close relatives and their faces are easily visible(lucky us; there are still no dates or names on almost all of them).

But, it is too late to point any fingers here.My husband did go through these photgraphs about 15 years ago. But, he did not take the time to ask his parents who were the other people in the pictures. He recognized his immeadiate family,and that was good enought for him.
Then again, my in-laws did not spontaneously feel the need to relive these memories.

These old pics were through time, just stuffed into old cookie tins or shoe boxes and put away.There were just 2 albums which I found. But now, I will have to take each picture out because the albums are ripped and crumbling.

Just to encourage genealogists to ask their elder's contributions to name people in photographs. Then, use and abuse of modern methods; scan them,print them and give them to children and grandchildren so they may see this.

Don't forget CDs and photo books too( these last easily available on most photo websites like snapfish) for stocking these precious memories.

Happy genealogy hunting to all!