The Chosen Genealogist

FiveGenerations_DescendentsofLavina

A very young me with my maternal ancestors

This Facebook post so eloquently describes the passion…the mission…to know our ancestors!

We are the chosen in each family

There is one who seems called to find the ancestors.

To put flesh on their bones and make them seem alive again.

To tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but instead breathing life into all who have gone before.

We are the story tellers of the tribe.

~Author unknown

Do you have a favorite poem or quote that explains your passion for genealogy?


5 responses to “The Chosen Genealogist

  • Karen Kleinberg

    Good morning,

    How ironic you posted this. I have the same poem (that is much longer than this) at the end of our family history book that I am currently working on for a family reunion this summer.

    I have also included different genealogical quotes at the end of each generation.

    thank you for sharing this with everyone…..

    • Lauren Mahieu

      Hi Karen, I would love to see the entire poem. Is it published some place online? Thanks for the kudos!

    • Karen Kleinberg

      Hi Lauren,

      I have the poem below for you. I think I received from another cousin who also does genealogy. ENJOY!!!!!

      WE ARE THE CHOSEN

      We are the chosen
      In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors
      To put flesh on their bones and make them live again,
      to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

      Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts, instead,
      breathing life into all who have gone before.
      We are the storytellers of the tribe.
      All tribes have one.
      We have been called, as it were, by our “genes”.
      Those who have gone before cry out to us;
      “Tell our story!”
      So we do.
      In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.
      How many graves have I stood before now and cried?
      I have lost count.
      How many times have I told our ancestor’s
      “You have a wonderful family, you would be proud of us!”
      How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me?
      I cannot say.
      It goes beyond just documenting facts,
      It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do.
      It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying;
      “I can’t let this happen”
      The bones here are bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh.
      It goes to doing something about it.
      It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish,
      how they contributed to what we are today.
      It goes to respecting their hardships and losses,
      their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.
      It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation.
      It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us.
      It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth.
      Without them we could not exist and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach.
      That we might be born who we are.
      That we might remember them.
      So we do.

      With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence,
      because we are they and they are the sum of who we are.
      So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family.
      It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call
      and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.
      That is why I do family genealogy,
      and that is what calls those young and old to step up
      and restore the memory or greet those whom we had never known before.
      Author: Unknown

  • Barbara Rodgers

    This is one of my favorites:

    “Moreover, my ancestors’ souls are sustained by the atmosphere of the house, since I answer for them the questions that their lives once left behind. I carve out rough answers as best I can. I have even drawn them on the walls. It is as if a silent, greater family, stretching down the centuries, were peopling the house.”
    ~ Carl Jung

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