“Remember” Your Family History

Happy Memorial Day!

I’ve been requested to add another entry on this awesome blog–but I couldn’t remember how to get on.  I have a list of words that are beginning to give me nightmares–Remember, remind, memory, etc., etc.  You get the gist–I am losing it!  Let me point to a few examples.

I went into deep mourning when I turned 60, until my husband delicately told me that I had actually turned 60 the year before, and didn’t know it.

I have recently stood in two different reception lines, wondering who in the world the bridal couple were.  I am now short a new toaster–and I still don’t know.

We were watching previews at a movie the other night.  I told my hubby “This one looks good–we should go to it.”  He responded, “We did–last week.”

Said hubby also now refuses to let me go to pick up a movie.  It seems that I always bring the same one home.

And lastly (dream on), I have actually had to visit my neighbors looking for the casserole that I had lost.  I finally found it in the back of my pan cupboard 5 days later.  (My memory may be going, but my olfactory senses are alive and well. )

I’m sure by now you are asking yourself where all this is going.  Okay, I’m getting there.  I am 64 years old (I think) and life is already getting to be a real joke.  Don’t wait ’til you or your folks are in my condition to try to get the life history going–it is not going to work.    We have some great helps here in the Book Table; books with questions about their lives,  keepsake journals, family history logbooks, hints on digitizing family histories, and finally, and most applicable to me, plenty of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Your Family History”.

What I found particularly useful with my own parents was writing down a list of questions, and then giving them a tape recorder.  After I transcribed the tape, we made it into a book for the family.  We also took pictures of keepsakes in the home, asked them about them, and then added the descriptions to the pics for a treasured album.  Show them pictures of ancestors and then jot down their comments.  Anything to jog their memories works.  Just be sure you are ready to record it.

Take it from me–there is nothing worse than getting ready to celebrate Memorial Day… and drawing a blank upstairs.  It’s now or never!  It’s time to get to work.

Have a great holiday!

Mary Ann


  1. HA ha ha ha!
    Well written and VERY motivational. I would LOVE to have a personal history of my parents, so I’ll have to take your advice and get on them about this.
    PS- your posts have been my favorite to read Mary Ann!

  2. I do hear so often to not procrastinate getting the stories from the older generation. I am sorry that I have lost so much time. Also, it is good to create a lot of context to get people started.

  3. Good advice! My mom is already starting to lose it so I better get on it. I like the idea about the recorder and pictures to jog their memory.
    Very charming way to put your thoughts. You cant be too far gone to be so witty. Love your blog.

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