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26081Re: [S-R] Lack of Interest in family history - YOU are now the historian!

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  • haluska
    Apr 7 5:21 PM
      I just hope you are not going anywhere soon Bill!

      Well said....

      Dennis
      --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, CasperVeth@... wrote:
      >
      > Wow - well said, Bill! You nailed it for the rest of us "historians."
      >
      > Ray Veth - Middletown, NJ
      >
      >
      > In a message dated 4/5/2010 9:02:57 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      > bill.tarkulich@... writes:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > I've reformulated this discussion because the title quite a bit off
      the
      > original topic
      > Re: [S-R] SURNAMES-WachtenheiRe: [S-R] Re: [S-R] SUR
      > and I'd like to draw attention to the hundreds of readers who may have
      > elected to ignore the thread.
      >
      > What Helene says rings true, I'll add one more story. I stayed in my
      > villages of Zboj and Nova Sedlica for two weeks, spending the days and
      nights
      > meeting and speaking with dozens and dozens of family and "relatives"
      of one
      > sort or another.
      >
      > What struck me at first, was that I seemed to know A LOT more about
      the
      > family than anyone I met.
      >
      > After about a week, I politely asked one of the elders why they never
      > wrote these things down or knew much about their family history. The
      answer was
      > quite telling. "Because we are surrounded by our family and our
      history.
      > There is no need."
      >
      > I left behind a small stack of paper including photographs which
      included
      > family trees, history, and copies of church books. Never since that
      time
      > did I receive any inquiry or comment on this material.
      >
      > Only the photographs were of interest. "Yes, I can see we are related
      -
      > look at that face."
      >
      > Coming back to the US, that kind of bothered me, but I assumed they
      were
      > too busy working to engage in such idle-time frivolity. Since that
      time,
      > I've slightly adjusted my perspective. It seems, that regardless what
      country
      > we live in, history of most sorts is disregarded. The essential
      question
      > seems to be, "How can this information help me live my life today?"
      And, for
      > the most part, it does not.
      >
      > On both sides of the ocean, I slam into privacy concerns all the time.
      It
      > seems to fall into two camps. The first is that it's going to get into
      > sinister hands that will use the lineage information against them. The
      second
      > is that "He must want something. Why is this guy fishing around about
      me?
      > Does he want to take the family farm?"
      >
      > Then comes the inevitable family gathering and some chit chat about
      family
      > history. It's polite, it's cursory, old stories are told, and it ends.
      >
      > I wish I could be as optimistic as Debbie. I don't think anything is
      > changing. While access to records has become light speed, human
      interest in
      > family history remains in the dark ages.
      >
      > YOU are the family historian, like it or not. There is always one
      person
      > in a generation of a family group who becomes the family historian.
      People
      > come to me occasionally for information, but usually only to obtain a
      "sound
      > byte" or a piece of trivia. Nobody asks, "what was life like?" "why
      did
      > they come?" "How did they work?"
      >
      > I take my unofficial role as family historian quite seriously. My work
      may
      > be flawed, but it's all my family has. I've bundled up all sorts of
      > material and sent it to relatives I believe most likely to hang onto
      it. My hope
      > and wish is that my little "bundle" will inspire someone someday to
      pick up
      > the torch and carry it. No need for them to start from scratch - take
      it
      > to the next level. As each generation departs, we lose so much
      richness.
      >
      > Bill
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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