There is no future in Genealogy – It’s all about the past
There you are poking through the archives. Looking at old documents trying to discover the secret that is the final number to the code to reveal the next layer of your family history. If only you can find this one last piece of information.
Maybe you find it, maybe you don’t. What is it really though? Just cold unemotional data, about a time and a place that when assembled with all the other data you’ve collected helps you get a bit of a feel for your history.
Your dead history!
Have you a box of photos, maybe some super 8 movies or even a few journal entries that help to flush out more of the story. This brings it all to life a little more. Now you can see their faces and read their thoughts. If only you could ask…
Have you thought, “I wonder what it was like to be there and live through that?” Shame you can’t isn’t it? But that’s the way it is with genealogy, digging into family history is all about seeing the long gone past –– The dead past.
Not all the history is cold and dead.
Sitting amongst the memories of your family, friends and you is the history that the current and future Genealogists will be looking for. It’s not dead yet, because it’s living in you now. Experiences rattling around amongst your memories, just waiting to be coaxed to the surfaced and shown to the world. An image, a smell, a question and all those living exciting times come flooding back into existence, to be shared with everyone.
If you can tell the stories of your past experiences you’re telling living history and if you’re asked questions and engaged in a conversation you’ll be telling of the things that people have always had an interest in. Chances are you even have stories from your parents and grandparents, living as an oral history version of those dead photos and documents but carrying the echo of their voices.
The voice carries emotional power.
Don’t think too lightly of this. The spoken word, with all it’s emotions and nuances carries a living power that not even the best authors can replicate. Telling of who, when, why and how in your own voice will carry the living history of your life as it was but also how it is now in ways that all the libraries in Salt Lake City can never replicate.
And when you’re gone and dust like all those documents, your voice will still live on with all the passion, sorry and joy of your life. Your Life Story is always a living document of your life in a way that Genealogy can never hope to be.
If you disagree, stop for a moment and listen.
Do you hear that? The ever so faint sound of your story slowly disappearing… That’s called life and it’s fading one second at a time until it’s just cold dead data. Then it’s someone’s genealogy.