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June 24, 2008

Genealogy Journal Writing Part 2

After filling my first 100 page Journal with notes and memories of the town I have lived in for over 30 years, I began Journal 2. This Journal was to be about the town I was born and lived in for the first 17 years of my life.

I also added hand drawn family trees showing my genealogy to Journal 1, and redid them for Journal 2. Why? Because there is no guarantee that any of my Journals will survive, but hopefully at least one will, and I want my genealogy available in it for any descendants.

It has been a lot of fun dredging up old memories - childhood friends, games we played (Kick the Can, anyone?), schools I went to, teachers I remember and so on. Describing the town I lived in (Ajax) was important, because when I lived there it was a village and now it is almost a suburb of Toronto. As I write I remind myself of what I like to read in old journals and pioneer memories - not only do I want to hear about the people who lived there but also how they lived, what they ate, what they wore, how much money they earned, and so on. I add those details to my journals.

The wonderful thing is that adding a simple detail (a memory of the milkman carrying clanging bottles of milk to our front door) often brings back a flood of other memories, such as my mother cooking on a coal burning stove and how archaic that seems now in our days of microwaves! I think (hope) my descendants might get a kick out of reading that, and how we did not own a television until I was 10 years old.

Journal #2 is well underway, I have about 25 pages to go before it too is filled. I have a third journal (100 pages) ready and waiting, and my son knows they are to be his at some time in the future. Hopefully he will take over as caretaker of all the family photos, documents and journals until the next generation has someone ready and willing to carry on with the job.

It's fun to think about which of your grandchildren or nieces or nephews you might groom for the job. I have several grandchildren but one grandson age 10 has already expressed great interest in being the family historian and loves the Ancestor Cards I created last summer.

What more could a genealogist ask for?

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