Even as a small child, I was interested in the stories of the family that I heard from my grandparents or great-grandparents to the extent that I would listen. However, I didn’t really appreciate their value until much later when it was too late to hear most of them again.
My real interest in genealogy began when I was in college and my grandmother had this large box of photos that she showed to me. There was one photo in the box that was a picture of my dad as a small boy holding a chicken. The photo was identified on the back as “Buster holding chicken”. This was one of the very few photos that had anything written on the back and it identified the chicken but not my great-grandparents in the background on the porch. (At least, I think it is my great-grandparents because although my dad is identified by his childhood nickname as buster, the people on the porch are not identified.) So my family felt the need to make sure that everyone knew it was a chicken we don’t need to identify the people in the background!
I have researched off and on since then. About 5 years ago, I joined my local genealogy society and have since served as the president for the past couple of years. I have attended one national genealogy conference and several local genealogy events.
This packrat has learned that what the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we loved. In the end, it’s the family stories that are worth the storage.
–Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe