How far have you walked in the shoes of your ancestors? 
How far have you walked in the shoes of your ancestors?

They walked across the ice… from Buffalo to Erie… to get a plot of land just outside the fort… they got a good deal… because they were the first.

I am blessed to have a family that values the oral and written history of our family.  Diaries written during passages across the Atlantic… a family Bible filled with 3 generations of a different branch, but filled with details of generations 10 – 15 before me.

One of the least expensive (by paper currency) ways to learn history is to trace your genealogy.  Even before the Internet public libraries  and town halls are filled with both information and helpful experts. My Morman friends have helped piece together information from states I had never seen.  The national archive had the muster records of relations that served in every conflict from Civil to 1812.

One of my most valued possessions is the audio tape of my Great Aunt Laura.  She was in her late 80’s and I was 11.  Hot on the trail of several hidden branches and determined to prove worthy of membership in the DAR by my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary.  She was so tickled that I was interested in hearing about her early childhood.  Most important to her was passing on the memory of seeing family and friends pack up covered wagons and head west to settle Kansas.  She never saw any of them again and her description of the oxen and horses and canvas and barrel made me feel as if we had just walked into the parlor after waving goodbye.

 She had seen the daily life of a century I could only read about and was amazed that she could tell her stories to someone who would see the next century.

Have you taken an afternoon to capture the memories of those who saw the 50’s… the 30’s…. WWI… Korea… have you used a family reunion to capture sounds and sights and similes and laughs?

How have you used your time with your elders to pass on the memories?  What vacations have you taken to walk in thier shoes?