Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sharing Oral History Brings The Family Together


I have to say I have been amazingly blessed to have had a wealth of information provided to me by mom regarding my family history. The stories she has shared, the names, places and tiniest little facts has allowed me to travel back in time and visit faraway places from the comfort of my home. One of the stories my mother shared with me I talked about on an earlier blog post called Thankful Thursday: Thank Goodness For The Kindness of Strangers --Part One. Here's a portion of it:

A couple of years ago, my mother told me a story of one time when she was a teenager she made a trip to Morehead City with her mother and while there, they took a ride in the country. Now I know my mother and we have a similar sense of humor. I know when she was riding in that car she was probably thinking to herself, "Um, How much more country are we talking about here?" My mother was visiting from New York so Morehead City was looking country enough for her. Ha. Anyway, she recalled they were driving out in the woods for quite a ways and finally came to this place where two sisters lived. To her they looked "Indian" or something. They were fair skinned with freckles and with long reddish brown hair. She remembered they were petite. They were referred to as some of her "grandmother's people." She's carried this memory with her all these years and wasn't sure who they were.


Now when my mother shared with me this story, I instantly wanted to see if I could figure out who these ladies were. They were kin and their names should be known I felt. Having their names known to me, would mean it was real, not some sort of fairy tale or myth. Another one of the blessings I have received from researching my family history and from blogging is that I was able to figure out who these women were and even better I was able to share that with my mom. The thing that made me the happiest from this whole experience was seeing the look of validation from my her. She finally got to know who these folks were. Her memory was a concrete thing that actually happened and now by having these facts it wasn't going anywhere. 

Oral history is what keeps our family chain connected. Stories, thoughts, and feelings from the past shared in the here and now, forever bind the past with the present. It is our job, as the storyteller, the family historian, or the keeper of the word to pass this on to the next generation. 


Microsoft Office Downloaded Image

14 comments:

  1. Great memory and thanks for sharing it with us!

    Bernice Bennett

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bernice! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Take care.

      Delete
  2. Beautifully written Andrea and I agree that "Oral history is what keeps our family chain connected". The story you shared, as an illustration, filled me with happiness. Thankyou. Catherine.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Um, How much more country are we talking about here?" LOL!
    The two sisters might have thought "... and from faraway land are they coming from?"

    I love this story about making and keeping a connection with family through 'Oral History'. Thank you for sharing!

    Peaace & Blessings,
    "Guided by the Ancestors"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks George! That's funny, you are probably right that they were thinking "...and from faraway lands are they coming from?" I hadn't thought about what they were thinking at the time they met my mom and my grandma.

      Delete
  4. It is a good feeling when we can validate the oral history and names can be given to a memory from the past.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes indeed it is Linda. Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
  5. Going from NY, Being a City Girl and driving into the Country of NC is a culture shock. LOL Love this story..and I find it wonderful that you are able to connect with the stories told and link them together.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love it! I traveled several country roads not to long ago when I went to a reunion in Texas. I instantly wished that I could have seen what my grandparents looked like in person.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's great that your mom has shared so much of your family history with you, and that you are collecting and preserving it for future generations. I always enjoy reading your stories. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete