Written by Alana Jolley

August 11, 2014

How Important Are Families?

How important are families? More important than we can imagine! I did not understand my place in the world until I met some of my relatives in this 100-year old picture above.

My very young grandmother is seated on the right and my great grandmother on the left. All the children are not in the photo above, but my grandmother is the oldest of the fourteen children. I never knew her; nor her son who was my father.  How Important are Families?  More important than I ever imagined!  I met four of my grandmother’s sisters, who were still living, when I was 30 years old.

The journey to find my father’s family began at the Genealogy Library, years ago, in Salt Lake City, Utah, where I found a rare book.  The book was filled  with vital statistics, compiled by a priest in the 19th century. I spent hours going through the book, piecing together family trees. I eventually wrote the personal history of one of the sisters; and that book, 150 pages, is now in demand by other libraries and historical societies.  It is chock full of cultural information about life in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in Mexico.

I recorded my great Aunt Virginia’s personal history in a series of interviews, which took place over a period of several days.  At that time, I transcribed the tapes on an electric typewriter and photo-copied pictures. That was 25 years ago and the book looks rather rustic and antique now compared to what is possible in our information and technological age.

Pathways to the past are so much easier today, with the internet and technology. I was lucky enough to find my great aunts before they had all passed away.  If you are thinking in this direction – don’t wait. You might make the discovery of a lifetime!

Most people do not have someone willing to write their story for them.  Explore More! to learn how you can begin to put your own personal story together and make a beautiful legacy for your own family.

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