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shootingstar

Keeper of family history stories, etc.

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I have voluntarily in a lazy way taken upon this over the decades.  Partially because by nature, I like true family stories.  Sometimes knowing where you come from helps you in the future...ie. not repeating mistakes of the past or good learning from past, present.   But also stories for the next generation to help bridge the "gaps" in understanding between older and newer generations. In our family it is needed 'cause: there's different groups with some vastly different backgrounds. I guess what joins us all somewhere there was a running thread of love and respect.

Are you or someone else the family historian in your group?  And I don't mean necessarily keeper of the family tree.  Heck, I can't sketch our family tree in a fulsome way. A chunk of it is lost over in China and in a different language that I can't read and barely understand by now.

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My older sister has a much better memory and can recall more stories but I've been the one who scanned in all the old pictures and shared them with the rest of the family.  I also had all the old family movies converted to dvd so we could watch them again and had copies made for my niece and nephew.

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I am kind of the keeper of the flame on my dad’s side. We have 2 cousins and neither one cares about this stuff. My great aunt kind of handed the torch to me about 20 years ago. She was the last of her generation and I was the only one of mine who even asked questions. Her grandson is starting to take some interest since his mom passed away. 

My mom’s side is pretty well documented. My oldest daughter took an interest in our family history this year so I am sharing what I have with her. My parents grew up in hard times in a poor area. I want my kids to learn and appreciate what they experienced while the people in the stories are real!

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My sister started interviewing our mom on video years before she passed to get her story.  She subsequently interviewed many relatives of my mom's generation and all of the siblings.  Our older brother passed of cancer months after his interview.... They didn't know he had it at the time and he shared many experiences of his life we didn't know.

Good to keep family records as once people pass it's hard to piece the history back together.

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Wow, some of you have great relatives...interviewing, videoshooting, etc.  Closest for video is a sister videotaped my mother, demonstrating how to wrap sticky rice packets in bamboo leaves. There is a logical art to all this by ensuring it's neat, tightly leaf wrapped and bound properly with string before boiling it in the pot. Yes, she boils it, not steams it.  None of her children (6 of us) know how to do it.  It's easier to watch a demo than read a freakin' manual.

Some family stories are in my blog. Posts tend to be on narrow thematic topics. Otherwise it gets really boring:  https://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/teenager-helps-father-sponsor-relatives-to-immigrate-to-canada/  (the teenager is me)  https://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/judge-not-the-poor-eating-healthy/

Some stories  told to grandchildren, some which get repeated in..euologies.  In euology for my father, I wanted to make sure  younger generations attending the funeral service, undersood our father (their grandfather, great uncle, etc.) was responsible for sponsoring some of them/their parents as immigrants into Canada, that he immigrated just a few years after the historic right to vote was granted to  Chinese=Canadians in 1947 by Canadian parliament.  This is because of sacrifice by the Chinese-Canadians soldiers/pilots who died overseas in WWII for Canada when at that time they could not vote.  

Yup enough stories....my mother was a picture bride, etc. 

 

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My younger brother has compiled a family history that goes all the way back to when our forefathers fled religious persecution in Europe in the 1600s. I have a copy of it here some place. It's a big, thick binder.

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2 hours ago, Rattlecan said:

My younger brother has compiled a family history that goes all the way back to when our forefathers fled religious persecution in Europe in the 1600s. I have a copy of it here some place. It's a big, thick binder.

That's great and your family history would be quite interesting.

I will never be able to go that far in terms of research because war & political revolution in China has resulted in loss of records, family deaths, lack of language fluency, etc.  My eldest niece has a pedestrian interest... and seems to develop nuanced understanding /curiosity. 

My blog brief posts are related to food, adjustments of immigrant relatives, racial identity, etc. Rather than just recitation of historical events. 1 of my great-uncles did pay the Chinese head tax in early 1920's  ($500.00 at that time)  ..which was imposed by federal law in Canada and U.S. ...to keep out the Chinese from overrunning the country and supposedly taking away jobs from whites.

But there is no national railway worker in my family for the building of national railroads by the Chinese labourers in 1800's in both Canada and the U.S. 

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