Saturday, June 19, 2010

Connecting with the Past

I love doing family history. I remember as a young girl helping my mom transfer all of her hand or typed pedigree and family records to the new PAF program on the computer. I remember thinking about the families that I typed. Some had a lot of children, some had a lot of children that had died and some lost multiple spouses.

I remember my mom telling me stories about them. I remember her teaching me how to research and how to look for clues. I learned to love those who came before me and to honor them. I felt a sacred charge to carry on in that great work of redeeming the dead.

When I married Mr. Patriot I learned that his family history work on some sides of his family had not been done. I enjoyed the challenge of discovering his family history so he and our children could know what their roots were. Fast forward ten years and I'm still working and still learning about them.

Teaching our children about those who came before them as been as important. Unfortunately we don't have many stories and few pictures to discover Mr. Patriot's family, but we know their names and dates and we share with our children what we do know. Each time we go back to my husband's family in Pennsylvania we go up to New York and spend half a day walking the cemeteries of his ancestors.

On my side of the family we have pages and pages of journal entries, life sketches, pictures and treasures. Our children's favorite tales are of their great grandfather serving as a Flying Tiger in China during World War 2. They loves reading his stories of his bombing raids and the pictures of all the air planes.

To teach our children about their family history my mother created a binder for each of our children. It contains pedigrees, group sheets, pictures and some biographies. The kids regularly read this and study the information. We have them down with their story books. For it is their story.We have regularly read them the biographies and stories multiples times exposing them to the courage of their forefathers. We look at their pictures and we talk about them. We have also studied maps of their immigration and the history occurring through the world while they lived.

One particular treasure we have is Heber C Kimball's "Address to His Children." Shortly before his death he outlined key points he wanted his posterity to know and do. He also states that he would stand with Father Adam and judge us at the last days in regards to how well we kept his charge. We refer to this often as we strive to come unto Christ.

Connecting with our roots is a powerful part of home education. It helps each one of us see perspective and understand we have a part to play in the grand scheme of mortality. What do you do to connect with your roots as a family?

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