My mother in law was a genealogist in Hardin county, Kentucky. She researched the linage of many.
She spoke a truth when she said “unless you learn something about the people, they are just lines on a chart. You should always try to find out their stories.”
Recently I have developed a renewed interest in learning more about my ancestors. Fortunately I came from a long line of story tellers.
My parents and their relatives loved to tell stories about the people they knew so well, but who were gone before I came along.
None of the story tellers live on earth now. So, as I longed to know more, there was no one to ask … until I thought of Bob.
Bob grew up and lived in my low country South Carolina community. He, like me, loved to hear the old folks tell their stories.
Bob and my father were a natural match. Daddy loved to tell stories about growing up in that small community.
Bob listened with great interest and even took notes. Beyond the face to face interviews, Bob did further research into the times and places of the past.
I recently contacted Bob and enlisted his help in journeying to the past on my father’s side of the family. He was very gracious in sharing both linage and stories.
As in Bible stories, there were both heroes and those who were not. We can learn from both, either what we hope to be or what we definitely do not want to be.
My grandmother was said to be such a person of love that all her siblings and others in the family named their daughters for her. Her name was Hattie Louise.
I too was named for her, as I am Carolyn Louise. That is a precious legacy.
A big thank you to Bob Connelly, who has been a wonderful tour guide for this adventure.
Bob is a good model for all of us who want to touch the future. Ask your older friends and relatives to tell you about their life. Listen. Take notes.
When they want to reminisce, go with them on their journey to the past. Even if they tell you the same story repeatedly, listen. When they are gone from this earth, it will be your treasure to keep.
And hope for someone who will want to hear your story. One day in the future, someone may be wondering who you were and what you were like!