thegenealogygirl


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Photograph Showcase: Grandpa at 16

PETERSON, Ronald Skeen, 16 years - smaller for FT

Ronald Skeen Peterson, 16 years old

Wasn’t my Grandpa a handsome young man?  He looks so young and yet I know his face.  I know how it will change and age.  I also see my dad and his brothers in his face.

He was such a good man.  I can see that too, even in his young 16 year old eyes.  What a treasure to find this picture recently.

 


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Family History for Little Ones

family history for little ones-01

Why do you think it’s important to share family history with children?  Why do you do it?

 

There are so many ways I can answer these two questions but the bottom line for me can be summed up pretty well in this short video of my little one:

 

 

When he was somewhere in his second year of life, he developed his first little mole on his arm.  It was really bothering him and he kept asking about it.  He was finally okay with that little mole when I told him it was an angel kiss.  From that moment on, every freckle and mole on any of us was an angel kiss.

A while later he started asking who the angel was that was kissing us.  I don’t recall our exact conversation, but the end result was that he believed that my Grandma – Margaret – was the angel that was giving us all kisses.

Whenever I can, I tell him special little things about her and my Grandpa and other family members.  I keep it very simple.  Slowly he is learning little things.  But of all those little tid-bits, the one thing that I really want him to know is that he is loved.  That he has a place in the fabric of our family.  That he is connected to those who came before and to those who will come after.

That is the part he understands completely.

In fact, he regularly says little things about the Grandma who loves him.  The one who gives him all of the angel kisses.

Those moments happen at random times.  Like when he is watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Daniel’s little sister Margaret is mentioned.  Suddenly I hear him say, “Ooooh, she has the same name as the angel Grandma!  She loves me, doesn’t she mom.”  This sweet declaration is usually followed by a hug from my darling little boy.

Preparing my children for the things they will face throughout their lives in a daunting task.  Giving them a strong foundation when they are young makes all the difference.  I believe that one of the key ingredients for that strong foundation is knowing where they come from and who came before them.  Family History has the power to strengthen the foundation we lay for our children’s lives.

As Bruce Feiler said, “The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. The “Do You Know?” scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness.”

I choose to share our Family’s history with my children, my nieces and nephews, and my cousin’s children whenever I can.  I do it because I know it makes them stronger and more resilient.  I do it because I want them to feel loved, not just by those they can see, but by the countless other family members who are no longer living.  I do it because it matters.

Family History is not just for old people.  Family History is for everyone – especially for children.

 

This post was written for the blog link-up Why Share Family History with Children hosted by Nicole over at The Family Locket Blog.  Thank you Nicole!

Why Share Family History with children blog link up posts

 

 

 


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Learning New Things

ELLIS, Margaret, toddler - smaller for FT

My sweet grandmother, Mary Margaret Ellis.

Last week was filled with learning new things.  On Thursday night I made my favorite discovery of the week while working at my local Family History Center.

This time of year I know that if the weather is nice we usually don’t have patrons come into the center.  Last Thursday was an especially nice day so I took a small stack of photos with me to scan.  The only patrons that came in were either attending a class or they were using one of the scanners and didn’t need assistance.  So, I spent my whole 2 hour shift scanning.

As I worked through the stack I had brought, I found a small bundle of negatives inside of a letter written to my grandmother by her older sister Beth.  I was excited to see what the photos were and held a bunch up to the light.  There were some sweet little gems in there.  As I was checking them out, a fellow consultant walked into the room and said, “You know our scanner can scan negatives don’t you?”

Well blow me down!

 

I DID NOT know that.

I got a quick lesson and proceeded to scan the stack of negatives.  Among them was this very sweet photo of my grandmother that I don’t recall having seen before.  A new treasure that I am delighted to have!

I have so many photo negatives at home.  SO. MANY.

Now that I know I can scan them at the center, I can save a bunch of pennies I was planning to spend having them professionally digitized.

But now I wonder how it would do with more modern photos?  Like the thousands of negatives I have saved from my whole life…

The lesson?

Know what resources are freely available to you.

 

I have been working at my local Family History Center for nearly 5 years.  I use the scanner all of the time and had no idea it could do this!  Such a happy discovery.

Happy Monday, I hope you make a fantastic genealogy discovery today!

 

 


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Photograph Showcase – One More Family Photo

Ronald and Margaret Peterson family

The Ronald & Margaret Peterson Family, 1970

This family photo was taken just before my dad’s oldest brother went on an LDS mission.  It was one last family photo before the first child left home.  My dad is in the back row on the right with the big old sideburns.

Ronald and Margaret Peterson family, February 1981

The Ronald & Margaret Peterson Family, 1981

This family photo was taken just before my dad’s youngest brother left on an LDS mission.  One last family photo before the baby left home.  By this time there were three daughters-in-law, and plenty of grandchildren.

Peterson Family, 1981

The entire Ronald & Margaret Peterson Family, 1981

Look at all those granddaughters!  My brother is the only grandson in that photo.  After four sons, my grandparents had 12 granddaughters and 5 grandsons.  I am the little darlin’ in the front row on the far right.

I’m grateful that these lovely family photos survived and made their way to me.  I’m glad that my grandparents were able to have these photos taken to mark these occasions and remember.

I am planning to do the same for my little family.

As a side note, in my dad’s family of six, every single family member served an LDS mission.  Grandpa – New Zealand, Grandma – California, Uncle Mark – Uruguay, my Dad – Ohio, Uncle Miles – Japan, Uncle Blake – Japan.  Thinking about their service, and my son’s upcoming service, I am considering creating a chart of ancestor missions like the Ancestor Pedigree by Birth Locations.  And then that got me thinking that I should make one to reflect education levels, and one for who I have photos of, and one for who I have any type of recorded story of, and well, you know how that line of thinking goes.

 

Have a great weekend, I hope you make an amazing genealogy discovery today!


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Awesome Genealogy Interruption

Ryan with mission call copy

My oldest boy got a big white envelope in the mail yesterday containing a mission call!!  That envelope totally changed the rest of my day in a happy way.  If you are reading this you are most likely a genealogist and understand when I say I had some chores to do before the crowd arrived.  😉

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We had a map for everyone to guess where he might be going.  After everyone had arrived (lots and lots and lots of kids and some family members and neighbors) we called all the grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles that wanted to be on speaker phone and he opened his call.

My oldest son, that little 2 lb. 8 1/2 ounce baby, is going to spend two years in the Columbia, South Carolina Mission.  He will be teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and serving the people of South Carolina.  He reports to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) on August 17th.

I do not know how to express my joy.  So many happy feels at my house!

If you are curious about what an LDS missionary does, this short video gives a great, basic explanation.

If you are curious about what Mormons believe you can learn a little bit here.

I hope your Friday is as joyful as mine!!


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Relish those Thank Yous

Tara and Amberly

I’m the big sister, Tara is the little sister

I don’t know about you, but it isn’t very often that I get a thank you from my family members for my work on our family history.  That’s not a complaint.  Just a fact.  It’s not that my family isn’t grateful and never says thank you.  It’s that the amount of time I spend is so massive (they would probably have me committed if they actually knew) and the thank yous that come when stacked up against my hours are fairly infrequent.

But when those thank yous come, they are especially sweet and I try to hang onto them as I work.  My sister Tara sent me one recently in an email.  It made my day and when I shared it with a fellow genealogist, I jokingly/half-seriously said that I thought I would frame it.  She told me in wide-eyed earnestness that I absolutely should.

Here are Tara’s sweet words in response to my email telling her that about the audio recordings of our Grandpa reading children’s books:

“Awesome. This is so exciting! Thanks for being the family historian. I think it’s so amazing how you’ve shared Uncle Darrell’s story. You’ve done a great job and I think Grandma Naomi would be so proud and happy that you’ve told his story and done such an amazing job. And collected everything you could find and put it in one location.”

 

Does your family express gratitude for your genealogy work?  I hope so!

 

ps – I know it’s Thursday and I usually post a “Tell Me a Story” post.  It’s Spring Break for my kiddos and I didn’t have the time for that.  But this, this was on my mind.  I’ll tell you a story next week.  Happy Thursday!!