I haven’t had a lot of time to play around with the Reunion 10, the family-tree software I use on my Mac, but one thing I have enjoyed is the Ages feature. I don’t know if this was available on Reunion 9, but if it was, it wasn’t as accessible.
Here’s how it works: Click on a couple in the Family View and on Ages in the left sidebar and in the right sidebar you’ll see exactly how old they were at the various that are entered in their event database. (You can toggle between the two members of the couple.)
For me, this brings these people back to life. I see, for example, that my maternal grandmother, Susie Brown, was 22 years, 9 months and 4 days old when she married my grandfather. And that she was between 25 and 33 when she moved from Missouri to Washington state. (I know that trip occurred in 1936, so she was actually 28 or 28.) I’d always known that my mother was 3 years old when that migration occurred, but I’d never thought about it from my grandmother’s perspective.
Perhaps since I always remembered my grandmother as an old person, I never bothered to think about what it must have been like for her, as a young woman, to move to a strange (perhaps exotic) part of the country. I haven’t really thought about what the over-the-road trip (this was before airplanes were commonly used) with two small children must have been like.
Of course, this makes me wish I’d quizzed her and my mother more when I was growing up. It’s not too late to ask my mother, but she’ll have no memory of the actual move. But she can share family lore.
Simply playing around with the Ages feature on one relative has sparked a whole line of inquiry. I can’t wait to see what it sparks as I use it more.