The designation “senior” covers a long stretch of ages, some of us much older or younger than others. It’s the older ones who perhaps have the biggest lesson to learn … that time does not stretch forward indefinitely.
I learned that lesson today when I received word that one of my oldest relatives had passed away. His name was Henry, and I never met him. I hooked up with him and his lovely wife many years ago when I started my genealogy hunt. We came together like family, which we were. Christmas cards, newsy letters, new genealogy tidbits, just as though we’d always known each other.
I would visit someday, I always told myself, not only Henry and his wife, but all my other newly found relatives in their area. Time and physical distance can’t change DNA, and I suspect that should I walk through their small town, I would be easily identified as one of them. All the questions I had, I told myself, could wait until I visited.
I waited too long.
We owe it to the family generations that come after us to leave them as much information as possible.
But where do we start? We start with the family members that are ahead of us in age. We ask questions, we take notes, we write things down. Depending how “senior” we are, we might have parents still living, or if we’re younger and have lucky DNA, we might even have a grandparent or two.
Type up your information, save the file and print it out. Make copies and hand them out to as many of your relatives as you can.
You might look at the generations after you and think they won’t be interested in their ancestry. You’ll probably be wrong. One of them, maybe years from now, will start to wonder … and your information will be there.
(c) 2020 King Features Syndicate, Inc.