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

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  • haluska
    I just hope you are not going anywhere soon Bill! Well said.... Dennis ... the ... nights ... of one ... the ... answer was ... history. ... included ... time
    Message 1 of 21 , Apr 7, 2010
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      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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