Dust and Memories

The interior timber frame of an abandoned barnWhile I was thinking of what to call this new site, one name that kept coming to me was Dust and Memories.  One of the goals of this site is to document the history of those family members who came before me.  I consider this to be an almost sacred duty of the family historian, because if no one in a family takes the time to document these histories with writings, images, and tangible artifacts, a family’s historical legacy all too quickly becomes dust and fading memories.

Rich family histories do not have to be solely the province of the famous and wealthy. Every person has a lifetime of stories to tell.  One of the most powerful legacies we can leave to our descendants is the story of our shared past.  The tapestry that is a family’s history is not some quaint and irrelevant relic, and neither does it belong exclusively to the living; rather, it is part of the timeless identity of a family and is our gift to the future.  As the living, we are the curators of this legacy, and it is our duty to preserve it and enlarge it.

A family history is never “complete.”  History is as much about the current and the living as it is about the past and those who are no longer with us.  A knowledge of our past can help us better understand much of the present.  This blog is one family historian’s attempt to honor his responsibilities to past and future generations.  It is also a recognition that histories that are written but not shared are only slightly better than undocumented histories.  To survive, histories must be both written and shared.

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