Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Beginning of My Remembrance

Bruce Alfonso Edmonds
He loved to talk about our family history.  

He committed to memory everything he knew.  And what a memory he had!  As a young girl, I loved listening to his stories.  I never thought to take notes.  I was, however, blessed to have a memory almost as good as his. 

Over the years, several attempts were made to create our family tree on paper.  The double cousins and such created a few obstacles; preventing him from ever accomplishing the task.  For example, my great-great grandmother's sister married my great grandfather's uncle.  Boggles the mind!  Many families faced similar obstacles when attempting to capture family lineage on paper back in the day.  If only had been available back then!

In later years, he began recording the information on cassette tapes.  Sometimes he recorded conversations with his aunt to capture even more family history.  Other tapes contain stories about the old families from the village; including dates of birth, dates of death, who married who, and the names of their children.

These cassette tapes hold great details on things such as the different businesses established from the 1920s through the 1940s, the locations of the best fishing and swimming holes, the games children played, and some pretty amusing stories about the local "characters" of the village.

As I listened to these recordings, I was struck by the fact that he often paused and addressed the listener.  His hopes were that one of us would be interested enough to listen and realize the importance of remembering those gone before us; that one of us would capture the history of our small village and ensure that this history was not lost.

Although I have always shared his love of family history, it wasn't until shortly after his death in 2002 that I truly began my journey into the world of genealogy.  My research now includes the history of our small village and surrounding communities.

He laid the foundation.  His stories captivated me as a young girl.  His recordings were treasured gifts.

I believe he would be proud knowing that his love of history lives on through me.  And I believe he made those tapes knowing that his passing would be the beginning of my remembrance.

Cross-posted from Photos and Footnotes

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