Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Family Tree: Tracking Them Down

My mother, Jennie

My daughter has picked up where we left off digging up information, documents and pictures tracing our family tree. She even started a blog called, "Tracking Them Down," where she writes about some of her experiences. She has tried her hand at colorizing pictures too, starting with one of my mother that we all love (see above). It's a great hobby that she enjoys when she has the time to devote to it.

While she is working on documenting all her information on charts, she is also scanning every picture she can get and scanning them into the computer. She is noting names and dates and whatever else she feels is important. Eventually she plans to put them on on flashdrives and give them to her cousins. Then everyone will have a complete set preserved for their families.

This April marked the anniversary of my Uncle Tony's death. We were going to his daughter, Maria's, house for Easter dinner. We came up with the idea of making a collage of her father's old pictures to surprise her. My daughter had a few pictures in mind and she printed them. The collage came out pretty nice and Maria was very touched and appreciative to have gotten it. She looked at it for a long time and almost couldn't put it down.

Her father's Confirmation, Graduation, Graduation with his mother, Army

This weekend we were invited to Maria's for a Memorial Day barbeque. Seeing as how Mother's Day fell in May, I thought it would be nice to make another collage to go with the first one. This time I asked my daughter if she could find pictures of my grandmother, two aunts and my mother, the women who we all grew up with as children and the women my uncle Tony was closest to in his family. And here is what she came up with:
Our Grandmother, Sisters Mary, Vincenza, and Jennie (my mom)
When I handed her the package she knew immediately it was more pictures, but she wouldn't unwrap it right away. She spent a few minutes guessing which pictures we possible selcted. She wasn't sure if they were more recent pictures of us as children, or more old pictures of aunts and uncles. She was pretty close! She was once again surprised to see all her aunts and her favorite picture of grandma, who died a couple before she was born and after who she was named. I'm glad we came up with this idea because Mother's Day was in May and it was so appropriate to put all the "moms" together. Of course her own mom, my Aunt Mary, isn't in this frame, but one day the two collages will be tied together with the most important woman in my Uncle Tony's life and the next big event in his life" their wedding picture. The only thing that remains is to find an original picture to copy. You can see, in my uncles collage above, a small copy of that picture that will one day complete this set.
I'm very happy my daughter has a love for her family history and that we took the time, before she was born, to find out all we could. One day soon, my daughter and I are planning to make a large family tree wreath. I have been thinking of the best way to go about it and I need to get craft supplies.
I would encourage everyone who is interested in doing the same type of thing to start as soon as you can. Memories fade over time, the elders in the family pass away, and it gets harder to get the rich details that you don't want to lose for generations that follow.

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