It has taken me quite some time to come to the decision that a blog was the proper way for me to create and store my efforts at preserving history as my family has experienced it and as I have experienced it.
This past week I was delivering a talk to our United Methodist Men group at St. Paul UMC here in Jonesboro concerning genealogy and family histories. One of the main points I made to them was the difference between the facts and dates of genealogy which I called the skeleton of an ancestor, and the real life stories that happened to us and our ancestors. While the dates and locations of various events are important, they really don’t tell who an individual is/was, it takes real life stories and feelings to know who a person was.
The average age of our Methodist mens group is probably about 65+. I tried to emphasize to them that even though they think they don’t have a story that anyone would be interested in, someday they decedents would cherish the opportunity to hear their story. While the facts, locations, and dates might tell where major events happened, they will never explain why decisions were made. Only a personal telling of a story can do that.
The major focus on this blog is going to be some of the family stories of relatives, such as my Great Grandma Jessie Louise Kapelle (Smith) who was brought to the US by her grandparents from Germany. Her father staying in the “old country.” Then in her late teen years she hears of her father having come to this country also and she travels halfway across the country to meet him. At which points he rejects her. We will investigate this and ask the questions of how/why a father could do this.
We will also look at my Great grandfather John A. Lakey on my dad’s side of the family. He had a family in the western part of Tennessee during the Civil war and made the decision not to fight for the Rebel cause like so many of his neighbors, but to join the fight with the 6th Tennessee Calvary Regiment USA to keep the union together. What would drive a man to place his family in such a precarious position? We will ask those questions.
Then in addition to talking about various ancestors, I will do what I advised those Methodist men to do and attempt to preserve some of my own family story and experiences.
Personally, if this blog is never read by anyone other than my family, that will be ok, because they are the ones I am actually writing it for. It might be 15 years before any of them read it, but that will be ok also. The idea is to preserve the stories for as long as possible, and if someday they contribute to a study of the time I grew up in, that is great.