Monday’s for Me #51 ~ Why I Hate Horror Movies

Growing up we had a small 12 by 12 inch black and white television set. It had a set of rabbit ears that sat on top and it all sat in a corner of our living room. We were only allowed to watch TV for about 2 hours per night. My Dad would watch the news at 6 o’clock every night and on occasion we would watch a movie. On Saturdays, we could watch the children’s programs in the morning as long as we did our “chores” afterward.

I think I saw my first “scary” show when I was about 9 years old. There were “The Munsters”, “The Addams Family”, “The Outer Limits”, and “Dark Shadows” allof which were pretty tame compared to what you can view today. However, they did there job and really had me freaked out.

I didn’t like the feelings I had when I watched any type of scary program. So I usually stayed away from anything that made me feel this way. Fast-forward to when I was 18 years old. My family had moved to Hollywood, California in 1973. My Dad had worked construction most of his life and had worked with a lot of asbestos. He also smoked about a pack of cigarettes a day. So it was really no surprise when in October of that year he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

He had radical surgery where they removed the right lung. and he had a scar that ran two-thirds the diameter of his chest and back. I drove him to Chemotherapy and radiation treatments 3 days a week. The doctor gave him 3 months to live. After about 6 months, my Dad was convinced that he was getting better. So, I started to go out more with my friends and spend more time away from home. It was now 1974 and the blockbuster movie of the year was “The Exorcist”. Everyone I knew was talking about it but I declined every invitation to go see it. Then my sister who was 4 years older than I and who had always been a bully towards me told me she wanted to see it and I had to go with her. Between my mother and her pushing me to go I finally gave in.

On June 23rd 1974 my sister and I went to see the 11:45 pm showing at a theater on Hollywood Boulevard. I absolutely hated the movie, and I was scared to death! Even my sister was scared, and she had cried during the show. We got home about 2:30 am and I had a hard time falling asleep, but I now I did at some point. I know this because I was abruptly shaken awake at 7:30 by my mother. She was standing over me with a big grin on her face, and she told me to come and see, my Dad was dead. I jumped out of bed and ran to their room, and he was indeed gone. I started to cry hysterically and I ran to my room, threw on my clothes and ran out of the house. I went straight to my boyfriends house 5 house down from ours. I stayed there, sitting on the porch swing with him until the coroners van left.

When I went in the house my mother was so excited, getting ready to go to the funeral home. This is a woman who had lived in the Los Angeles area for over 5 years and had never left the house except when we moved. She had a mental breakdown about 6 years earlier, and she had become a hermit. To say thing was unnerving is an understatement.

Now I know my Dad did not die on June 24th because I went to see that horrible movie the night before, but for many years after this event, that is what I believed. I decided that I would not watch any of these types of movies again and I never saw another horror movie after this.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on either Facebook or Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Resolution ~ A New Year ~ 52 Ancestors #52

I have really enjoyed this challenge this year. I tried to participate in it about 4 years ago, but I only completed about half the year. At the first of the year we got the news that my husband would never recover from the health problems that was caused by an arrogant nurse practitioner in July of 2019. I had been writing a Genealogy blog since January of 2012, but it was hit or miss at best, and as I found myself in the position of being a full time caregiver, I knew I needed something to help fill the hours. This was a perfect fit!

After a couple of weeks, I made the decision to try to write a blog a day. I was nervous as I didn’t think I could come up with enough to write about, but once I made the commitment and began to write, I found it wasn’t that difficult. Once I came up with a few themes of my own, it became easier.

Because of this challenge from Amy Johnson Crow, I have been able to balance out my love of Genealogy, writing and caring for my husband, which has helped me not to become overwhelmed, especially since the pandemic was thrown into the mix.

The bonus of this challenge was discovering so many interesting details about my ancestors. It pushed me to dig deeper, as well as casting out a wider net. I had gotten into the habit of just researching a few certain lines of my Dad’s side, ignoring the rest. Because of the specific prompts, I was forced to apply the same principles of research to my own ancestry that I apply to my clients. It has really opened up a new, more intense love for family history.

My resolution is to continue with my self-imposed challenge of writing at least one blog a day. I also want to begin organizing the blogs I have already written into a book that I can share with my extended family.

I want to thank Amy for the 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge. It has made a very difficult year a little easier. I look forward to participating in the challenge!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, 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.

The Plan Was…….

Gpa and Gma Hughes older fixedWhen we first start researching our Family History we usually begin with our parents or Grandparents and slowly work our way back as far as we can go. We spend a tremendous amount of time going over documents, gleaning any information we can from them. We add photos of our relatives, pictures of their headstone, and anything else we find interesting to our trees.

Then at some point, we realize that these people are not just names, birth dates, marriage dates, and death dates. They lived unique lives, had relationships and occupations, owned property, and in some cases did amazing deeds. So we begin to put together the story of their lives taken from all the information we have gathered.

All this is exciting and fulfilling to any Genealogist. We have brought confused-smileyour deceased loved ones back to life. Then we ask the question, “What about those who are still living? Shouldn’t we be recording their stories for the next generations?” Of course, we should. So most of the time we concentrate on our oldest living relative, trying to tell a well-rounded, well-documented story of their life. We feel the urgency to do this because we are not sure how long they will be with us.

Somewhere along the line, we recognize that we should begin writing our own story and that of our spouse as well so that there will be an accurate account of our lives. This way we can choose what we feel is the most important facts and events from our past and include them. We get excited that we are able to add photos and even videos to our legacy. The problem is, writing or recording our own stories usually takes a back seat to our Genealogy quest. We figure there is always time to do it, later.

listI have been actively researching my Ancestry for over 25 years. I have seriously thought of writing mine and my husband’s life stories off and on through all those years. I even began my own story about 15 years ago, but I put it away knowing I would finish it one day. I never started writing anything about my husband’s life because I figured I could always work on it after I research just a few more Ancestors. Besides, we have been married almost 34 years, and he has told me stories of growing up in a small, rural Arizona town so many times I felt I wouldn’t need to ask too many questions to adequately write his history.

Then it happened… a little over 1 ago he began to have problems remembering his childhood. The memory loss quickly spread to what he did a few years ago and then to what he did yesterday. We spent the last year having tests done to try to determine what was going on. About 6 months ago we received the devastating news that he had Vascular Dementia. He had suffered several mini-strokes, and we were told that eventually, he would not even remember my name. The worst part is, he will turn 58 years old in December! I thought I’d have more time to ask him for more details about his life, but now I can’t. I have been trying to remember all the stories he told me, I have asked his family to help fill in some blanks for me, but with 8 kids in the family, they don’t remember who did what. Only he knows the complete story of his life and now it is all buried somewhere in his mind that he can no longer reach.

The moral of all this is: You never know from day to day what may Moral of the storyhappen, so don’t assume that you have plenty of time to write your personal story or that of those whom you are blessed enough to still have with you. Don’t put it off so long that one day you too will say “I thought I would have more time!”

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, 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.

Monday’s for Me ~ My “Hairless” Childhood

 

I remember when I had my daughter, I imagined all of the ways I would be able to fix her hair. Ponytails, curls or being long and beautiful. Unfortunately, she turned out to be my only bald baby. Her hair didn’t grow much until she was about 4 years old. I felt cheated! Why would I make such a big deal out of this? Well, growing up all I wanted was long hair. However, my mother had other ideas.

A lot of babies have short hair right after they are born and I was no exception. As the years progressed my hair never got much longer. Not because it wouldn’t grow, but because my mother insisted that me having long hair was too much of a bother for her. She had my sister and her hair to deal with. So growing up I usually had the shortest hair in my classes at school. I always wanted to be able to have my hair blow in the wind. Or to put it in a ponytail. Or to just look like a girl. I got teased a lot at school. Kids would say I was a boy wearing a dress. Some of the boys would stand next to me measuring their hair length against mine and most of the time mine was shorter. In the sixties the pixie cut was in style, but so was the long, luxurious hair. 90% of the girls I knew had long hair and that made things worse for me. The following is a snippet of my “hairless” childhood!

 

 

1 yo 2         bathing beauty 2               5 yrs old photo booth 2

1 year old.            3 years old Beauty queen LOL.        4 years old. 

 

rodeo 2         Sus campground 2       1st day of school 2

5 years old.                    My boy cousin & me!        First day of school.

 

xmas 2            Me as brownie                  5th grade 2

Christmas 6 years old      7 years old Brownie                5th Grade

 

me & bro older            16 yo 2            19 yo 2

12 years old.                         16 years old.                         18 years old

 

When we moved to Missouri I had just turned 12. I told my mother I would take care of my hair myself from then on. She didn’t take it too well, at first. Then she realized it was just one less thing she had to do for me. By the time I turned 14 my hair was finally past my shoulders for the first time. As you can see it just kept on growing. For many years it was past my waist. I loved it. As the years went by I would cut it shorter, then let it grow, but it was my choice, not someone else’s.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday’s for Me ~ Independence, Missouri ~ Bristol Elementary School 1968

mo_oak_grove mapMy family moved from the deserts of Arizona to Oak Grove Missouri in April of 1967. It was a small town east of Kansas City and I had relatives who lived there. Because we moved before I finished 6th grade I had to finish my grade here. The school was one long building that held all of the 1st through 12th grades. I had played clarinet since 3rd grade and I wanted desperately to continue here. They didn’t have a band for elementary school so I had to play in the High School Band. That was quite an adventure. Especially the end of the year concert in the park where they placed me in the middle of the front row and people were pointing at me and taking pictures because I looked like a midget compared to the rest of the band members! Things were definitely different here.

After school was out my parents bought a house in Independence, Missouri. I was soBristol excited to be starting Junior High because, after all, I was 12 years old now. Things were sure to be better in the bigger city. Imagine how crushed I was to discover that 7th grade was still held in the Elementary schools. Junior High was 8th and 9th grade. My old school was barely in the city limits and it was surrounded by desert. It was a single-story building that had 3 separate portable buildings for the 6th graders. Here in Independence, the school was huge! It was 3 stories high and the “playground” was almost all cement. There was a large gym on the bottom floor and that is where we got our exercise.

One thing I thought was odd was once a week a teacher would come to the class to teach Spanish. First, it was odd because there were no Hispanic children in the entire school of about 800+ children! I was raised in a neighborhood and attended a school that was 75% Hispanic. We never took Spanish classes there. Second, with the deep mid-west accent of the teacher, only a few words were pronounced correctly. There were many other things that I found different and one was they offered home economics for us. I had fun learning how to cook as my mother never taught me anything in the kitchen except to clean it.

1960s sewing machineDuring the 2nd half of the school year, I got to take a sewing class. I was so excited. Growing up my mother made about 60% of our clothes. I would watch her cut out the patterns, then cut the cloth and then sit at her machine and in the end there was a garment of some kind. My sister had no interest in learning to sew but I did. I asked several times if she would teach me but the answer was always no. My dad took me to the fabric store and we purchased some rose-colored material that would eventually be a pair of shorts. We picked out a corresponding zipper, buttons, thread, and the pattern and I couldn’t wait for class.

My best friend Kathy and I were in the same class so we teamed up to share the sewing machine. On the first day of class, we were told that all shorts had to be knee-length. Anything shorter would get you an automatic F. We were not happy because the new “style” was shorter shorts. It took about 4 weeks to finish the project. Not bad considering we only went to class 2 times per week and we had to share everything. When everyone was done we all marched downstairs to the girls’ bathroom and put on our shorts. They fit well even if they were longer than we wanted. After the teacher measured the length of each one we had to change back into our regular clothes.

In most schools in 1968, girls could not wear pants or shorts to school. Only dresses orme and bristol 2 skirts were allowed. We were told that for the last day of school we could wear our shorts as a reward for our hard work. Kathy and I went to her house and we “adjusted” the length of the legs. When we showed up to school everyone was staring at us. It was only a half-day but we still got called to the principals’ office. We were threatened with not being able to pass to 8th grade and having our parents come to pick us up but in the end, she just sent us back to class.

Several of us brought cameras and we ran around taking photos of our friends and getting our class picture signed. We had cake and punch around noon and then the class was dismissed. It turned out to be a great day.

Class photo 1968
I am 3rd from the left in the front row

I never really learned to sew well enough to make complicated items. I sewed maternity tops for me and baby nightgowns for each of my 3 children. I really do wish I had maybe tried harder to learn the skill. Then again maybe I wasn’t meant to be able to sew.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, 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.

Mondays for Me ~ A Lesson Learned

When I was about 5 years old my brother, Gordon came home on leave and he brought his new wife Lily and her 2 children with him.  Lily was born and raised in France. She had met Gordon while he was stationed there, and it didn’t take long before they were married. When they showed up at the door, we were all so surprised and thrilled to learn that they were expecting a baby. It was odd for me to have a niece and a nephew that were only a couple of years younger than I but I was also excited about having a baby niece or nephew.

Lily was a fun person to be around. She had learned to speak English pretty well, Spideralthough she still had a little trouble making us understand some things she said. One day Lily and I were out in the yard walking around and she was looking very nervous. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “I like spiders and I am looking for one.” I thought she was nuts! I hate spiders; they are probably the only creepy crawler that scares me.  The next day my brother took me with him to the store and he gave me some money to spend. I bought a rubber spider. When I got home. I put it in a box and wrapped it up really nice. I was so badly-wrapped-presentexcited; I ran to the dinner table and gave it to Lily. She was so touched that I thought of her she eagerly tore the wrapping off and opened the box. The next thing I knew chaos broke out. Lily threw the box into the air and was screaming hysterically! My brother was trying to calm her down, my Dad found the box which had bounced off the wall and had flown over the table and he tossed it outside, my sister was laughing so hard she had tears flowing down her face, the two kids were crying, and my mother fainted.

When everything calmed down my mother asked me “How could you do such a horrible thing to Lily?” I told her what she had told me the day before and then Lily started laughing. She realized she had said that she liked spiders instead of disliked them. Everyone was fine with it except my mother. I got in a lot of trouble for it and almost every day until my Nephew Earl was born I had to hear my mother tell me that the poor little baby was now going to have a spider-shaped birthmark on it and that it will be all my fault. After Earl was born Gordon called to tell us he was fine, no birthmarks of any kind. My mother never believed them; she thought they were just saying that to make me feel better.

 

cropped-blog-pic1.jpg

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, 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.

Mondays for Me ~ No, I Wasn’t a Hippy

My-Story-This-is-my-storyThe purpose of this blog is to document the stories of my life. When I am gone my children, grandchildren and great-grandchild will have the memories of my life written by me. I am excited to begin this journey.

While growing up my three children used to always respond to their friends when asked where they got their names from with, “My mom was a hippy”. Later in life, they became even more convinced that I had been one when they saw some photos of me in my teens. I tried to explain about the photographs, but they were never convinced.

Evidence #1:  I named my children unusual names. My oldest son I named Pleasant. He is named for my Grandfather and Great Grandfather, but that didn’t convince him otherwise. My youngest son I named Starr Douglas. Douglas was after my dad, but I named him Starr because I wanted to keep the tradition of unusual names. My daughter, I named Jerusha. I heard the name when I was 12 years old in the movie Hawaii and I loved it.

 

Conclusion: No proof of being a hippy. The act of naming your children with unconventional names doesn’t mean you’re a “hippy”.

 

Evidence #2: Some photographs they saw of me in “hippy” attire. Because of my Indianupbringing of being almost totally ignored by my parents and sister, I had a habit of doing things to get attention. When we moved from Arizona to painted shortsIndependence Missouri in 1967, I didn’t fit in with the kids at school. I talked “with a weird accent”, my style of clothes was different, and I didn’t like the strange foods they served in the cafeteria. So, instead of fitting in I deliberately tried to stand out. I loved the TV show “The Monkees” (Davy Jones!!!). They dressed different so I adopted this style. My one friend and I would paint our facesme and darrell in multicolored shapes with brightly colored cream eye shadow and go to the town square and walk around. We definitely got attention! I also used paint to decorate my jean shorts in flowers and peace symbols. My cousin and I talked my Aunt into making us Nehru jackets. She was a professional seamstress and could make anything! I was once sent home from school in Junior High for wearing the cloth belt from my dress as a headband!

 

Conclusion: No proof that I ever adopted the hippy lifestyle, all of the above was done to get attention and to have fun.

 

Santa Monica BeachEvidence #3: In 1969 my family moved to Santa Monica California. We lived 7 blocks from the beach, and I spent every moment there I could. I wore a lime green bikini that had purple polka dots on it. I grew my hair long; it was past my waist. I wore big floppy hats and bell bottoms. Again, my old photos and my stories convinced my children of my being a “hippy”! My oldest son told me he had read all about the “Summer of Love” that took place in ‘69 and that was proof enough for him! I was guilty of liking “hippy” music, I danced like one, and I had the lingo down…. Groovy.

me long hair

Conclusion: No proof because almost all 14-19 year-olds liked the music of the late ‘60’s back then. The clothes were fun and comfortable, and bikinis were the norm at the beach. The long hair was the style of the day and it was a big improvement over the pixie cuts my mother had me wear growing up. No proof that this made me a hippy.

 

My children have now passed on the idea of “hippy” Grandma to the Grandkids. However, they all think it is “Cool Man”.

 

View the photos and decide for yourselves!!!

 

 

cropped-blog-pic1.jpgI am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, 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.

Writing About Your Ancestors

listWhen I first began researching my family history, somewhere in the back of my mind I believed that one day I would finish my search. I know I thought that 20+ years ago. Planning that after I finished the research, I could start writing the stories of my ancestors. Today I know that I am nowhere near the end of my family history. I have always had the desire to put together a book with these stories to pass on to my Grandchildren. How should I start?

Waiting is a mistake. Looking through our trees we can see so many Ancestors we want to write about but thinking about that prospect is overwhelming. There may be lots of material to glean from but who should you start with? Should you do it in order, current to ancient? How much or how little information should you include?

So, how do we even begin? Here are some hints I have been using that may help.

straight line

1, Since there is not just one straight line stretching back to an original ancestor, you can actually start anywhere. There are many trees and branches to choose from. Where you begin and with whom you write about is up to you.

I started with my Maternal Great Grandparents. My Great Grandpa ends his line. I can find no information on his birth or death, only his marriage to my Great Grandma and the birth of my Grandpa. However, I have a few stories that I heard about him while growing up and I wrote about those. If I find anything in the future about him, I can always add it. My Great Grandma was a different case. Her lineage goes back to my 11th Great Grandfather born ABT 1606 in Uxenden, Middlesex, England.

2, Don’t stress over writing a perfect story. Just start writing down what you know about your ancestor. Basically, just get it on paper. You can always go back and fill in the information, make corrections and add details.

As the author of 3 books, I know the struggle with trying to write something that is presentable. Over the last 5 years I discovered that if I just write what comes to me, I at least have something to work with. Editing, grammar, spelling, rewriting, etc. can be done when the writing is finished.

time3. Don’t get caught in the belief that you don’t have time to write a story. Everyone makes time for the things that are important to them. You can begin by setting aside 30 minutes during your day to sit down and write.

I know with the responsibilities of life it is sometimes hard to fit anything into our schedules. But like everything else, if you really want to do it then you will find the time.

4. It is okay to write a partial story. If you begin writing about one of your ancestors and you find you don’t feel like what you are writing isn’t interesting, then it is okay to stop writing. You can save what you do have and return to it at a later time, This allows you to approach it with a new perspective and perhaps some additional research.

5. If you are so inclined, include some historical context to your stories. You can write about what life may have been like during their lifetime, a short history of the area they lived in or some event that happened in the world at that time.

6. In writing stories of your family history, it is important not to forget about yourself! Byabout-me the time your children or grandchildren read what you have written, you will have become one of those “ancestors”. It would be such a great gift to have an accurate, first-hand account of your life to pass on. You may include anything you feel you would like your descendants to know about you and your life. In other words, the good, the bad and the ugly.

About 10 years ago I read a book about writing your own story, In it was ideas of what to write. Things like “tell me about your elementary school days”, “what did you like to do in your spare time or “what hobbies did you have” and “what type of pets did you have growing up”. These were great to get the mind thinking and you only had to write about one aspect of your life at a time. You didn’t have to put it in chronological order or stress over little details.

The reason for this blog is to encourage you to write those stories about your ancestors. Not all of us have been blessed by someone else taking the time to do it. It would be a great legacy to pass on to future generations. I know I would have loved for some ancestors of mine to have preserved some stories that I could read.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

3 Days Too Late

mom & brotherBack in 1981 my Mother, in one of her typical neurotic episodes, disowned my older brother. Although he was 44 years old, had been married twice, had several children and had retired from the Air Force after 20 years of service, he had refused to do as he was told. This was a betrayal in my Mothers’ eyes. It wasn’t the first time I witnessed this type of behavior from her and it wasn’t the last.

That was the last time I ever saw my brother, Gordon Smith Wilson. He was 18 years older than I. When I was 6 months old he graduated High School and joined the Air Force. In the early 60’s he was shipped to Vietnam. He ended up doing 3 tours there by choice. He was a load master on the C-130 Aircraft and was very proficient at loading the planes without the benefit of scales. He was shot 3 different times, each time in the lower Brother in Vietnamextremities. He also received radiation burns on his face when an airplane exploded near him. Because of all the horrific things he saw while in war he became an alcoholic. I only saw him about 10 times in my life. The longest stretch was in 1981. He came to stay with our Mother for 2 weeks. He ended up only staying a week. He left abruptly with no explanation and my Mother said we will never hear from nor see him again.

My Mother disowned me because I married someone she did not approve of. (We have been married for 31 years). She passed away in 1999. From that time on I began searching for my brother. When the internet became available I began to do searches. I made phone calls and sent letters to potential matches, but I had no luck. On February 1st, 2018 during one of my searches I finally found got a hit. I found his information on one of those background checking sites. It gave just enough facts that I knew that it was him. I was ecstatic. My husband and I were leaving for California on the 3rd so I figured I Obituarywould pay for the info after we got back on the 10th. When we returned, life got busy, so I couldn’t get back to it until the 15th. When I put in his information up popped his obituary! He had passed away on February 12th. I missed connecting with him by 3 days. I was devastated. I was able to find some information on 2 of his boys so my plan is to contact them.

 

The moral of the story is: When you find potential information on a long lost loved one, do not put off making contact. We are not guaranteed tomorrow!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

“Hot Topic” Genealogy

HottopicsIt is always amazing to see how much society has changed in the last few hundred years. What is the “norm” for today was taboo a century ago and what was accepted 200 years ago seems unimaginable today. Throughout history there has always been a “Hot Topic” in each generation. Topics such as the Suffrage Movement, Religious Freedoms, Slavery, Prohibition, Wars etc. Today we are hard pressed to find out how our ancestors felt about these issues or if any of them actively supported or opposed them. Unless our ancestor was “famous” for their stand we may never know.

We can make assumptions on some of their beliefs by how they lived. Take for instance civil war battlesthe Civil War. If your ancestor fought for the North, you can assume they were anti-slavery and if they fought for the South they were pro-slavery. Also if they owned slaves you can assume that they believed in it and if they didn’t they were opposed. Some of the “topics” were not so obvious.

If we are lucky we can find membership information, letters, affiliations or other documents that can provide a glimpse into our ancestors’ stance on the issues of their day. However, most of us will never find these gems. We are left wondering if they had any opinion at all. This brings us to our own time in the genealogical timeline.  We have so many “Hot Topics” today that in a hundred years our future generations will wonder where we stood and why.

New scans15I am of the belief that I want to leave as much information for our future generations as possible. Not only about our ancestral line but also of the times in which we live. I have started writing about some of my beliefs, my stands on social issues and any participation’s I have had for or against those issues. To be quite honest I have picketed for one issue and I have picketed against another. I have participated in rallies and marches. I have appeared on local and National television, radio programs, been a Conference Speaker and featured in magazines and newspapers as an expert on one issue. I want my Great Grand-kids to know their Great Grandma held strong opinions on certain subjects and she wasn’t afraid to let others know how she felt. I am trying to be fair and explain both sides of the issues and express why I chose the side I did.

 

What “Hot Topics” do you have an opinion or belief on? Have you gotten involved fighting for or against that Topic? Think about leaving your experiences behind for those coming after you.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.