Today at Physical Therapy I was talking with a young Hispanic man who is one of the therapy helpers/receptionist. He asked me what I did when I was not submitting to “torture” and I enthusiastically told him about writing my books and about Genealogy. He asked a few questions and I was very excited to answer them for him. Then he said “I really don’t know why anyone would want to find out about their Ancestors.” I was shocked! Did he really just say that? So I asked him “Why wouldn’t they?”
He looked at me and said “I don’t think I would want to know about my family because they were all just farmers.” I guess the look on face said it all because before I could reply he said, “I guess if your family was famous or rich then it would be interesting.” Again, I am sure my face gave me away.
I then posed a question to him, “How would you feel if your Great Grandchildren said I don’t want to know about my Great Grandfather because he was just a receptionist?” The look on his face was priceless. I went on to tell him that his family were farmers by profession, they themselves were something else altogether. They could have been musicians, dancers. weavers, city leaders or a number of other things. They were definitely Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Aunts or Uncles. Who they were was not defined by what job they performed or how they made their living but by their character and interests.
I offered to help him find some information about his family, so on my next visit he will bring me names, dates, and locations of his Grandparents. I told him to ask his parents about the Family Stories and he might be surprised at what he may find.
I am hoping that I can help this young man find a passion for his Family History. It broke my heart to think that so many of our younger generation probably feel the exact same way. How can we help?
CHALLENGE: What if each one of us offered to help one young person find their Ancestors and their stories? My challenge is for each one of you to find a younger person and introduce them to the wonderful world of Genealogy. Yes it will take some time away from your own research or job or leisure time, but think of the reward of seeing a young person develop a love for their Family History.
If you do take the challenge please leave a comment and let me know how it went. I would love to hear about it.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.