Genealogy tools

Writing down family stories

xzbwg4egr7y1c2ywjgnhfa.jpgI found this piece of paper while going through an old file folder. It’s in my Granny’s handwriting. Since she’s now gone, this is priceless to me.

My grandmother on the other side of the family is the genealogy buff. When my mother married into that family, the genealogy bug must have spread. Suddenly, Granny Hebert was scribbling down her own family history.

On the note above, she wrote down her father’s family.

Granny Hebert was born to Albert Gauthreaux and Isabelle Giroir Gauthreaux. Albert’s lineage is a little confusing. His parents were Cordelia Gauthreaux (or Cordilier in the baptism record) and Amarante Aucoin (or Merante). Amarante was married twice. A son by her first marriage – Oleus Montet – married Isabelle’s sister, Louise. See how confusing this gets?

Cordelia and Amarante had three children of their own: Albert, Azolin and Cecilia. Cecilia is a bit of a mystery. Granny was very close to Azolin’s children, but I never heard her mention Cecilia’s children. Apparently she married and died young but had at least a few children. I have no idea where she’s buried or who her children were. Now – with Granny gone – I’m curious about Cecilia. She’s a loose end, and I hate loose ends.

There, on a scrap of paper probably written when I was a baby, is Cecilia and a husband whose name I’d never heard before.

I’ve also come across notes that I took – and quickly forgot – when Granny was alive.

For example, I’ve written down that Granny was 4 when her mother died. Her sisters were 1 and 3. A boy who died at birth would have been 2. The youngest sister had just learned to walk.

Genealogy is about stories, at least for me. It’s heartbreaking that Isabelle died so young with such young children. It’s heartbreaking that Baby Pearl had just learned to walk when she lost her mother.

Go to the oldest member of your family and ask them to tell stories. Older people often love to visit the past. And your family tree won’t just be names. It will be alive with stories.




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