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From: "Doreen & Peter Neilley" <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] OT - Why Do Genealogy
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2004 14:19:25 -0700
References: <>

Dear Cheri,
I help to write a newsletter for my local genealogy group. I would like
permission to include this in a future edition. May I have your permission,
Thanks in advance,
Doreen Neilley (Alberta Genealogical Society - Draytin Valley Branch)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cheri Casper" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2003 11:31 PM
Subject: [TMG] OT - Why Do Genealogy

> I collect sayings about ancestors, genealogy and the like. Tonight as I
> adding this one to my on-going list, I thought some of you might be
> interested in it.
> *********
> Fleshing Out the Bones: Why I Do Genealogy
> We are the chosen. My feelings are that in each family there is one who
> seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make
> them live again. To tell the family story and to feel that somehow those
> who went before know and approve.
> To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead,
> breathing life into all who have gone before.
> We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been
> called as it were by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us:
> Tell our story. So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.
> How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count.
> many times have I told my ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you
> be proud of us."?
> How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love
> there for me? I cannot say.
> It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who I am, and why do I
> do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever
> to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen.
> The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to
> doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were
> to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to
> respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up,
> their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.
> It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a nation. It
> goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us,
> that we might be born who we are, that we might remember them. So we do.
> With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we
> are them and they are us.
> I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next
> generation to answer the call and take their place in the long line of
> family storytellers.
> That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young
> and old to step up and put flesh on the bones.
> -- Anonymous
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