Summer is often the time for family reunions; it’s when we may catch up on news and old stories someone else knew in our family and they often make us laugh. You could easily use a family reunion to ask a relative about some past events or people you feel you should know better. You may also find out more when you stay with a relative. Speaking to an older relative in particular might be rewarding
So, I’m suggesting to you– ask your older relatives while they are still around. I found out so much later from censuses and wish I’d known to ask about the people shown there. For instance, I thought my father was one of two children and then I discovered that his father had first been married to another woman who had given him four children and died in childbirth in 1884. It took my grandfather 6 years to find another wife, my grandmother, to care for his young children. His oldest may have been about 16 when my father was born so maybe they did not know each other. I wish we’d had a family reunion at which I could have met these four older siblings when I was much younger.
When I was on holiday in Wales 3 years ago, I met a second cousin and discovered loads of information about my grandmother’s sister. I saw that pictures of her children revealed likenesses to my mother’s sisters. It was an exciting find. The stories I was told too confirmed how hard life was in the early 20th century for miners’ families.
Through my interest in genealogy, I met a third cousin in USA. We corresponded for a while and I was given pictures of her grandfather, my paternal grandmother’s brother. It could have been my own father- the same shape face and just as small strays of hair left. I not only discovered how adventurous my great uncle was in coming to America with two other brothers, I also met my new cousin. Later I had a holiday with her and her husband in Florida. That correspondence has been a source of joy then and now. You never know what might happen if you follow through an interest in your family.
I wish you success and fun in discovering more family stories this summer. Summer is certainly a time to cement family bonds and learn facts and stories that can add to your own life story writing.