Dedicated To All The
If you're an amateur genealogist researching your family tree, you've probably been on the
receiving end of criticism, head-shaking, or, at best, an attitude of bemused tolerance from one or more
family members. Many people don't understand why you would take the time to delve into your family's past, or
research the family tree.
We came across this piece of writing that eloquently sums up the motivation of those of us who've taken on this
quest. It was written by Bob Dunn, aka "The Storyteller", of Houston, Texas, and we'd like to thank him for putting
these feelings into words. Here it is:
We Are The Chosen
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 find ourselves. 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 forever to 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
It goes to deep pride that the 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 before.