She was a beautiful, young Irish maid, working in a wealthy English household. Her employer’s oldest son fell in love with her. When he announced intentions to marry her, his parents said they would disown him. He married her anyway. Then, bride and groom ran away to live happily ever after. “Her name was Mary Cordial,” my maternal grandmother Marilyn Matilda Dietz told me, that distinct glimmer of pleasure in her eyes—the one she always had when she retold this story. “And you are her legacy.”

This blog is a resource for those who want to--have to--find out more about who they came from.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Journaling for Tomorrow

I was sitting in a popular coffee shop today, passing the time, when I noticed a book on the sale rack--one that invited people to list their favorite things, movies, people, etc. inside its pages.

What a great idea, I thought. So often, we journal about the everyday grind and we forget to write down the precious things about our lives. Keeping a journal where we list our favorites, our passions, and our joys gives future generations insight into the kind of people we were.

You don't need to purchase this particular book to accomplish this mission. Many of the big chain book stores offer journals at bargain prices--under $5. I recommend purchasing one and then filling it with the things that thrill you. Poems. Photos. Lists. Print outs of emails. You could also write down your genealogy as you understand it--parents' names, grandparents' names (don't forget maiden names). If your parents and grandparents are still living (or their siblings), ask them for the names of their grandparents. Include birth and death dates. Places they've lived. Occupations and noteworthy pursuits, too. All of this may seem mundane to you, but to your great-great-great grandchild, all of this is genealogical GOLD.

Just my tip for the day.