Wednesday, January 22, 2014
RECORDING ONE'S LIFE JOURNEY
How did my Great Grandma Bridget Chambers meet my Great Grandfather Edward Sherlock? Why did my Great Grandfather Joseph Peter Nebgen immigrate to the United States while most of his siblings stayed in Germany? I have tons of questions about my ancestors. Perhaps if they had recorded their life journey in even a small way, I would have some of those answers.
Keeping a daily journal, writing about lessons learned or stories about their travels, or videotaping a person telling stories about their past are all ways to record life's journey. I have written in a journal, now am word processing in an online journal for many years. My kids call it "my memoirs". It helps me to remember the details of events. Some times I use that information when I am creating a scrapbook, conducting family history research or even having a friendly argument with a family member about a certain event.
I kept a diary when I was in the 5th through 9th grades of school. I re-read it a few years ago and found the dates of the deaths of a few of my great aunts. Yeah, it did seem like we went to a lot of funerals around that time! I then verified the information with the actual records.
My Grandma Theresa wrote in a travel diary when she went on her "Grand European Travel Adventure" in 1961. I have not only read her diary, but took notes so that I when I travel to those same places, I can "re-trace" her footsteps and perhaps "see it through her eyes". I had one of those moments this past October in a church in Innsbruck. It was rather awesome! I hope to visit many more of those places in the coming years -- Switzerland, Assisi and Siena in Italy, County Meath in Ireland -- just to name a few!
Who knows some day, maybe one of my grandkids or great grandkids will read the memoirs of "my life journey" and will try to re-trace my footsteps!