I’m just wrapping up my visit with my parents and I’m kicking myself for not having conversations with them sooner about family history and lore. (I wish I had done it when I first started dabbling in genealogy history some ten years ago.)
Either my family just doesn’t talk about this stuff a lot (we didn’t when I was a kid, I don’t think), or my octogenarian parents just don’t remember much. In any case, my fact-finding mission didn’t reveal a lot of facts. However, I did go through a box of old photos my mother had inherited from her mother. Only a few had any kind of labels on them (and my mom didn’t recognize most of those pictured), but there were some obituaries and other potentially valuable documents among the photos, which gave me a little thrill.
My aunt lent me a family history that had been published decades ago and I look forward to going through it and trying to verify the information contained in it. While it doesn’t seem to list sources, it will provide valuable clues.
Today, as we drive from Walla Walla, Wash. (where my parents live) to Portland, Ore., we’re going make a detour through LaGrande, Ore, where my great great great grandfather is purported to be buried. I’ll report on that next week.
My big takeaway for you is that even if your interest in family history is only slight, seek out your older relatives and ask them to tell you family stories. And take a few notes. If you end up doing genealogy history, those conversations might provide you with some valuable clues or explanations for what you find in your research.