Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

My Ancestors Will Live Forever -- If I Do My Job

My grandson recently sent me an article about the values of genealogical research.  It is not necessarily a new view, but a good reminder of why I believe it is vital.  At least it is vital to me. It is the reason I write about my ancestors and publish those writings either here or at the Family History Library or the Allen County Library.  

I also have shared on the feeble attempts I made years ago to create Genealogical  Websites.  The websites are still active, but I don't update the material anymore. However, my contact information is there for folks to contact me if they have questions.  The websites are:

But, to get back to the subject of this article -- here is the most pertinent part of it. 

"Forgetfulness is immoral.

How then do you avoid the immorality of forgetfulness? How do you acknowledge and thank someone for a gift when they’ve gone the way of all the earth?

You remember them. And in so doing, you prevent their second death.
Preventing the Second Death, or How Memory Is Redemptive

Every person dies twice.

The first death comes when their body physically expires.

The second occurs when their name is spoken for the last time.

For most people, their second death arrives when the last person they knew during their lifetime also passes from the earth. No one remains who knew them in the flesh, and their memory is buried along with their bones.

For those people whose posterity does their genealogy, however, their memory never dies. Their name is read and known by he who first compiles a family tree, and by all the individuals who come after and keep sacred the record.

Viewed in this light, genealogy is an act of redemption. Through our family history research, we can save our ancestors — even the lowliest and most apt to be forgotten — from the second death.

Memory is moral."

I seem to have always known this and thus my own motto "Fall in love with your ancestors!" No matter how they behaved in life, without each and every one of them I would not be me!  I owe them the effort to learn about them AND write about them. 

And today, Thanksgiving 2016, I am thankful for every one of them.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your ancestors.  Patj

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