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iNow
Post  Post subject: The Power of Narratives & Links to Lineages  |  Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:55 am
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There’s another thread here where a member has been searching his heritage, looking to understand his family tree.

This got me thinking...

Why are we so drawn to stories about what came before us? Why are narratives about our past and bloodline so powerful and attractive?

I often reminisce about stories told to me by, from, and about my grandfathers. When my mind wanders, I sometimes think of the journeys taken across vast oceans by their parents while young. So brave. So dangerous. So lucky. I look at my children and begin to think of the challenges my grandmothers faced. I find it supremely easy to connect with the descriptions and narratives of my family’s past. It’s interesting in a natural way. Not forced.

Are/were my family members who shared these things just practiced talented storytellers that knew how to weave a tale, or is there instead something inside me... inside us all perhaps... yearning to fill gaps in our sense of self and to continually enhance and add texture to our feelings of identity?

Why are these narratives and our links to ancestors so powerful?

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: The Power of Narratives & Links to Lineages  |  Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:50 am
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maybe it's an american thng - after all, most people now living in the americas came from europe in the past few hundred years - whereas if you live in europe and you search your ancestry, you tend to find the people who stayed in the same area for generations

in my case, the french revolution is the most influential event, not because of what it did to my ancestors, but because the destruction of most parish records means that's where my search for earlier ancestry stops

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: The Power of Narratives & Links to Lineages  |  Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:43 am
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Hadn’t considered regional variations. Good point, but it seems that even you went searching for this information. You unfortunately hit the obstacle of destroyed parishes, but you still initiated the search... you were still curious and sought out that detail to fill gaps in your ancestral narrative. I wonder why and what drives this curiousity, or even if it was naturally selected for some reason.

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iNow

"[Time] is one of those concepts that is profoundly resistant to a simple definition." ~C. Sagan


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: The Power of Narratives & Links to Lineages  |  Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:04 pm
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tbh I haven’t done the legwork for searching out my ancestry - my dad had done some of the work, and then identified someone who had done likewise on my mum’s side

what i’ve done is to digitise the available information, and at the same time become the caretaker for some archive material now that both my parents have died + intend to augment the existing records with any new material I may find in the archives

in the meantime, i’m in the process of compiling the available material in a Wordpress.com site, and hopefully build up from there (mind you, I haven’t got that far yet, I still haven’t got further than 5 generations away)

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