Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Genealogy vs. Family History

Do you ever go to your own page on Facebook and just scroll?

Scroll and remember?

Remember as you see and read the pictures you've posted and the comments people've made?

I have been using the "only me" feature for a while, posting things I find in my news feed that I want to keep but don't want to bother everyone else with. Like the lemon brownies recipe or the list of uses for apple cider vinegar. Stuff like that.

I was looking through the last month's or so of posts and came across some comments from around my brother's birthday at the beginning of April.

A friend who knew our parents before we were born commented about her memories of both of our births. This is what she wrote:

 I remember all of the details from yours and [your brother's] births... I looked up to your parents as my "pseudo-brother and sister!" Grandma called me here in Dallas (I was 10 1/2 and in the 5th grade) to tell me that [your mom and dad] a baby boy today ...  I thought she was playing an April Fools joke on me... Lol

On the evening of [your birth], Grandma & Grandpa had taken me and my visiting aunt and uncle to eat dinner at The Summit House on Sandia Crest (which, for the last 30 years, has been High Finance)... Anyhow, while we were eating, we got paged for a phone call. They brought the phone to our table and it was your dad... Maryhelen Elizabeth Evans was born! I was sooooo excited!! 😀 Great memories!! 💕

The year she was talking about was 1975....WAY before cell phones. To have a phone brought to the table is impressive to me. To me it shows how excited my dad was and how important it was to him that he reach these people.

It's these kinds of remembrances that set family history apart from genealogy. Genealogy is the facts: names and dates and places, while family history is just that: the history of your family. Pictures, stories, memories. 

My friend's comment helped me to know better the excitement that not only she felt but also that my dad was feeling the night of my birth. Since I don't remember one single thing about that night myself, it's wonderful to hear a first-hand account from someone other than the principle players.

And maybe, help me love my dad just a little bit more. 

Working to learn as much as we can about our long-ago family will help us know them when we finally meet them. I have lots of questions and lots of hugs to give. I'm sure there are many generations of grandmothers who are watchful over me, and I look forward to spending time with each one of them. 

We can deepen our understanding of who we are by searching out our family history. We will be bettered for all of our efforts. Once again it's evident that the things the Lord asks us to do are really for our benefit. I haven't found one thing he asks that isn't that way. Pretty amazing.

Good luck to you as you start or continue to learn about your family. 


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