There is a coldness updating my family tree when family members that I knew recently passed away. In the future, if we are fortunate, a genealogist will be curious enough to learn more about how we lived.
Three of my Aunts passed away this year. We were not close due to various reasons too boring to list on this blog. I learned of their deaths via third parties. Most of my memories involving my Dad’s sisters are from childhood. Strong minded, hard working characters, devout in their faith.
The Aunts I remember of my youth seemed invincible. I expected them to reach 100 and receive the Queen/King’s telegram. But we cant escape time and its unfair decision to make us vulnerable.
Two of my Dad’s sisters are still with us. But in poor health and mind. A generation is passing. They have always been there. On the periphery of my adult life.
It is strange going back to the area I grew up in, passing by my late Aunt’s houses and knowing they are no longer in them.
The genealogist/family history addict in me realises that when this generation passes a living link to those I research will be broken. For example it’s unlikely I’ll meet anyone else who knew my Grandfather Thomas Sherry.
Perhaps I am being a selfish genealogist? Thinking about the passing of my Aunts in that way. But there is a flip side.
Future Genealogist Advantage
My Aunt’s descendants have an advantage that previous generations did not have: Through technology their lives will be remembered more clearly, and with more accuracy.
They wont be just a record sitting in the archives, or a cold statistic like so many of our ancestors.
Those descendants and future genealogist/family history addicts will have access to photos, videos, perhaps emails that will aid in building a picture of their lives.
I do envy the future. Through my research I will do all I can to make sure our family’s story is documented.
My Aunts touched the lives of many through their nine decades of life. As long as the family remember them, share stories and photos of their lives they will be more than records resting in the archives and hard drives.
And, they wont be too far away.
In memory of:
Jane Mallin Sherry: 1930 -2018
Alice Sherry: 1933-2018
Roseanne O’Donnell Sherry: 1934-2018