Saturday, December 29, 2007

Genealogy and holidays

They say you should get out your tape recorder and talk to all your older relatives on holidays. Unfortunately, for my part of the family, I *am* the oldest relative. There are cousins--children of my father's brother and sister and my mother's sister--and children of my mother's cousins--but I don't know them or where they are, except one.

However. There were some good genealogical things over the holiday. Some friends invited me to Christmas dinner, and for some reason we got started talking about genealogy, and they brought out a beautiful book someone had put together for the husband's family--hand-drawn family charts, old pictures, newspaper articles--it was a wonderful work of care and love. I hope to see it again some day when I have my glasses! I introduced the term "plantation Scots" to my friend, who is a Stevenson and thinks his people are Scotch-Irish, so he may follow up on that.

For myself, I photocopied the collection of my maternal aunt's letters to give to my sister and brother when they came to visit--I'll be very interested to see what they think when they've had time to read through them, and if their chronological reconstruction is similar to mine (my aunt didn't believe in dating letters, but some of them were still in their envelopes, with postmarks, and there's some internal evidence to help date them very roughly). And my sister gave me and my brother framed copies of a photo of my mom and dad, a snapshot taken soon after they were married. My mother looks radiantly happy.

So family members who have gone on beyond were with us in our memories this holiday season.