Saturday, May 14, 2011

Collecting Dead Relatives

I saw a bumper sticker a few days ago that said “I Collect Dead Relatives” not that this person actually had a stack of dead relatives laying around his house, maybe a few live cousins and a stack of research that ties his family tree together, I’m thinking.

As most of you know I spend quite a bit of time working on genealogy, and by doing so I feel like I personally know a lot of people who were long gone way before I was ever born. Some I have imagined their mannerisms and way of doing things while researching documents that verify who they are, I can see these family members faces and feel the sadness of their passing while reading the death certificates that sometimes tells you a story you never knew, or leaves you wondering what actually happened to them, when the cause of death is unexplained, funny thing is when I look back at the dates and realize that they were buried sometimes a hundred years ago.

Somebody once told me that in one hundred years it won’t really matter, this may be true for some things like how you do something in particular today, or if you skip taking out the trash right now, but in a hundred years will what you do today make a difference, will how you look or walk be something anyone remembers, in a hundred years will it really matter? I think so.

I found a picture some time back of a Great Grandmother, she was born in 1882 and died a decade before I was born, my Dad has told me stories about her and things he remembers about her, I feel almost like I have sat down to supper with her and laughed at the antics of the close family times shared in this home through his stories.

While sitting and looking at her picture I could see my Grand Dads face so I pulled out a picture of him, next I pulled a picture of my son and in all three pictures you could see the same facial features and profile. My son was born one hundred and six years after her and even though he would never know her, he is carrying her looks and most likely mannerisms with him today, so one hundred years later her influence matters.

Research your family tree and see what you can find, it is very addicting to collect dead relatives and it is a lot of fun, share your remembrances of your Grandparents with your children and the upcoming generations, laugh at how your brother looks and walks exactly like your Mom’s Dad, and share the tales you heard as a child yourself, these stories just may be the thing that brings a smile to someone’s face a hundred years from now when folks are remembering you.

Collecting dead relatives is a lot of fun, but remembering these people through stories passed down through the generations is a blessing that makes life matter way past a hundred years.


  1. I so enjoy reading about your discovers through genealogy, Jimmy!

    I have another blogger friend who also works on her family genealogy and has shared so many interesting stories and discoveries with me. She even discovered some of my own family tree.

    "but in a hundred years will what you do today make a difference, will how you look or walk be something anyone remembers, in a hundred years will it really matter? I think so."

    Yes, I think so too!

    Great post, buddy! Hope you and Cindy are having a super weekend!

  2. I wish I was better with it. I have done research, but can't keep anything in my head. (only written) My sister is the one with the brain. It's like she knew them personally!

  3. One of my favorite things is some video I took of my mom and grandma talking as they went through a photo album my grandpa put together before he died. Had pics of his family back to my great, great grandmother. I want to do genealogy, I just don't know where to start and don't have the time right now, but I jot down little notes here and there for... someday...

  4. How interesting. You have inspired me to try and write about my discoveries which, incidentally, came to an unacceptable full stop.

  5. I'm sure hoping that what I do today will count in one hundred years as I record my thoughts and actions for my descendants. As a keen genealogist I also collect as much as I can about my forbears and try to persuade my sibling and cousins to do the same. I feel it is very important, especially as I so wish I had those sorts of records about my ancestors. Just not enough hours in the day.

  6. Fantastic post Jimmy. I do this with my mother, my grandmother and my grandkids pictures. It's amazing how it carries down isn't it?

  7. I haven't worked on my family tree in many years, but really got into it back in the early '90's. While my inlaws were in Germany, they went to my family's town and took a bunch of photos of the church many of my ancestors were baptized/married in (the church was built in the 1300's). Very cool stuff!

  8. I had no interest in this when I was younger, but now I find it fascinating. I love looking at the old photos.

  9. i've a;ways wantd to research my family but have no clue where or how to start

  10. We did that last Wednesday! My Dad's brother, who comes to visit once a year, and my Dad were here. At supper they regaled us with stories of people long dead and their childhood. I remember some of the relatives from back when I was small, others died before I was born. But through their stories we are connected.


  11. Hey Ron, Genealogy is something that will suck you right in, the more I find it seems the more I want to search and in a hundred years my search will still be going strong.

    Thank You Buddy.

    Ms. A, I have everything on my computer stored in a PAF program I downloaded free from the LDS site, I too could never remember them all in my head but there are a few I feel like I did know personally.

    Hey Kristy, Hold on to those notes and pictures because they will all help you out so much when you can get started, the video has to be a blessing, I bet you get a warm feeling and large smile each time you look at it.

    Valerie, Sometimes your research does hit a brick wall but other times while looking at something entirely different you find a loose brick and that wall comes down :^)

    Holmesfan, Genealogy is a time consuming effort but well worth it in my opinion, in a hundred years your efforts will be a blessing to your descendants, this time you have spent on your research is very important indeed.

  12. Yes Barb, It is amazing how it carries down, looking at Grand kids pictures and comparing them to ancestors will show as I have heard “Came by it honest” when talking about looks and actions :^)

    Very Nice Bijoux, It is so cool to find this type of information on our families, one I remember is a Great Grandfather who was the first minister of a church built back in the 1700’s, this church is still in use today and from searching through it’s cemetery I think I am related to the whole bunch, just may have to make arrangements for myself to end up there.

    Hey Betty, Isn’t it funny how important these things become as we grow up, I too love looking at the old pictures, I get myself lost when I come across them.

    Hey Becca, There are a lot of free sites you can get information from and if you don’t mind paying a bit there are some excellent sites for hire so to say also, I also do a lot of research at the library back home that stores archived newspapers, death certificates and such, The LDS Church is also an excellent place for free information.

    Spot, I think it is so cool to sit back and listen to folks reminisce about their childhood, listening to my Great Grandmother was enough to cause me to start researching the family tree.

  13. I loved tracing our family trees...dug up lots of interesting info!

  14. Hey SC, Isn't it amazing the information that is out there, just takes some digging to find it at times.


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