The Chosen #southafrica
I saw this on another genealogy site.
The next time that someone in our family, or a friend, goes on about
what they think is our obsession with family history, you might want
to pass on the following gem that was posted on an American gen list.
How appropriate it is!
"The Chosen" is by Della M. Cummings Wright; rewritten by her
granddaughter Dell Jo Ann McGinnis Johnson; edited and reworded by Tom
"We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to
find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live
again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and
approve. Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but,
instead, breathing life into all who have gone before.
We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have
been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry
out to us, "Tell our story!" So, we do. In finding them, we somehow
How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count.
How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful
family; you would be proud of us." How many times have I walked up to
a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say. It
goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I
do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost
weeds and indifference and saying, "I can't let this happen." The
bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to
doing something about it.
It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish, how
they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their
hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their
resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. It goes to
deep pride that their fathers fought and some died to make and keep us
a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were
doing it for us.
It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us
birth. Without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as
far back as we can reach. That we might be born who we are. That we
might remember them. So we do. With love and caring and scribing each
fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of
who we are.
So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to
that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my
place in the long line of family storytellers. That is why I do my
family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step
up and restore the memory or greet those whom we had never known