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Thread: Incredible gift

  1. #1
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Incredible gift

    Okay, it's not cycling related but just had to share my excitement with my cycling friends.

    I received the most exciting, precious gift this Christmas I think I've ever received. My Mom and sister collaborated over the last year or so without us knowing about it and "published" a 200 page document on my family. Most of the information is background on my Mom's family tree that goes WAY back. Hours and hours and hours of research went into this thing including visits to other states, cemetaries, court houses etc.

    My Mom also wrote several sections on her life (mini-autobio) and my Dad and our family. My Dad passed away 4 years ago and as with most of us there are always all those questions we just never took the time to ask that she helps to answer.

    My Mom is incredible. She is 84 and got a laptop 3 years ago and basically has gone from having to call us to figure how to literally turn it on to doing elaborate searches of databases. We knew she was heads down doing the family tree thing but never knew what she was completely up to.

    I started reading some of it last night and found it hard to put down. It even had pictures I've never seen before!!

    Thanks for letting me share my excitement about my gift. My family is truly a blessing.

  2. #2
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    It's incredible how much we lose in family knowledge when an older member passes away. I've a friend whose purpose is teaching "Lifewriting" to older folks and encouraging them to record their life experiences for their progeny. It is a rich and rewarding effort for all involved. Your response to your mum's work validates that. Joy to all of you!

  3. #3
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing about your Christmas gift.

    A few years ago, I got the 3 folks - my mom, step-dad and aunt - together, and I videotaped a couple of hours of their discussing their lives over the years.

    Darn, have to dig that thing out. My step-dad died about 1 month ago - he was 96.

    My mom (93) has a book, "The Swallow Book" which was put together near the beginning of the 1900's, which is a couple of hundred pages long, and details the genealogy (and some great pictures) of her mom's side of the family back to the 1600's (Swallow was their surname). It was bound and there were many copies made, although I have no clue where the rest of them are.

    Neat stuff.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    Scan ALL of it and burn it to a DVD! Otherwise, the paper copies will be fragile and can be lost (as folks from New Orleans can verify!).. Once you've got it all on DVD, give copies to all your relatives. That way, some will survive.

  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Scan ALL of it and burn it to a DVD! Otherwise, the paper copies will be fragile and can be lost (as folks from New Orleans can verify!).. Once you've got it all on DVD, give copies to all your relatives. That way, some will survive.
    Easier said than done.

    It is already fragile, and I have discussed with her having it professionally fixed, copied, rebound, etc.

    Right at this time in her life (93 yo) it is not one of her priorities, and as I don't live nearby, it is a most difficult endeavor.

    Even scanning it would injure it, unless you had someone who had special equipment.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Okay, it's not cycling related but just had to share my excitement with my cycling friends.

    I received the most exciting, precious gift this Christmas I think I've ever received. My Mom and sister collaborated over the last year or so without us knowing about it and "published" a 200 page document on my family. Most of the information is background on my Mom's family tree that goes WAY back. Hours and hours and hours of research went into this thing including visits to other states, cemetaries, court houses etc.

    My Mom also wrote several sections on her life (mini-autobio) and my Dad and our family. My Dad passed away 4 years ago and as with most of us there are always all those questions we just never took the time to ask that she helps to answer.

    My Mom is incredible. She is 84 and got a laptop 3 years ago and basically has gone from having to call us to figure how to literally turn it on to doing elaborate searches of databases. We knew she was heads down doing the family tree thing but never knew what she was completely up to.

    I started reading some of it last night and found it hard to put down. It even had pictures I've never seen before!!

    Thanks for letting me share my excitement about my gift. My family is truly a blessing.
    Can my family hire your mom? We've got an incredibly difficult family tree to track down... (slavery, tribes that no longer are in existance, slaveowners from different countries, etc.). I've often wanted to do it, but with many family members scattered across the country and remarried, then integrated into their new families, and lost contact along the way, it'll never happen. Sounds like your mom has a knack for tracking stuff down!

    Koffee

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Whilst the grandparents still had their faculties- My daughter took on a project from school on geneology. She managed to trace a few notable facts, such as I went into the Royal Marines and it turned out that my great grandmother was christed at Dover Castle. Her father was the Company Sergeant Major in the Royal Marines in 1865. Never knew that untill we went to Dover castle to see her birth registry and noted his rank and Military regiment in the Records. A full 100 years before I joined. Never knew of the Family history, but a family connection that lived on. Then there was the side of the family that I did grow up with and they are descended from Romany stock (Gypsies). very few of them left now, but the mention of my Great Aunts name still gets respect in certain quarters.
    My family name is the same as a village in Kent and 40 years ago my father found out that there were a great number of relations with the same surname living not too far from where I live now. We met most of them and my dad spent many weekends reminiscing with his long lost Cousins and Uncles. It turned out that we were descended from that village in Kent, but when they moved to Sussex in the 1700's, they just took the name of the village they came from. I now live in Sussex and my uncommon name is filling the phone book for Sussex. None seem to be related in my immediate area, except for the devoutly religious family that live 1/2 a mile away. And I do mean devoutly religious. Yet another part of my extended family that I do not associate with. That family record is still in the loft, and I will have to dig it out sometime.

    A matter of the times we live in, but I was born just after the war, when family ties were strong. The family meant a lot to us then and we were always visiting each other. I now only meet my relations at Funerals- not even weddings as they don't seem to happen very often. All those Aunts and uncles are still going strong and still recognisable as family members. As are their grandchildren. Bit of a shock at a Family funeral a few years ago when I embraced one of my cousins as the years had not changed her. Even when I called her name "Sylvia", she turned round. Yep It wasn't my cousin, it was her Daughter with the same name. Funny how my youth still comes back to haunt me, but I cannot remember the names of the kids in the small close where I live, but then there do seem to be hundreds of them.

    Post script--- Found out that 2 of my cousins that I lost contact with in my youth as they moved up north to live on a farm, took up cycling and joined a club and became successful National cyclists. They are now back cycling after a 20 year break,and it is great telling ex national riders the pains they are about to go through.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

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    JPPE - That's a great gift!

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