06 November 2012

Politics & The Genealogist

I've written several times in the past about color.  Not color as in crayons or racial color but about "color" as in the things that make your ancestor who they were.

Many things define color - religion, occupation, hobbies, education and more.  Of of my favorites is politics.  Its not that I think being a Republican or a Democrat is anything special, its more about what you do with it.

Four years ago America voted in the first ever African American president.  Four years later we find ourselves voting in one of the most heated, nasty political elections ever.  I personally believe this one to be the nastiest, most hateful election ever.  That aside,  I do believe that we as genealogists have a responsibility to the generations that come after us.  To tell what we know.  What we have seen.

In my files, I have a write up of my view of the election four years ago.  And at some point there will be a write up of what transpired over the past year and what transpires today.  Why you ask?

Imagine if someone, perhaps one of your ancestors had written down their perspective on the elections they were part of.  Maybe one of your great grandmothers was involved in the woman's rights movements in its early years,  Maybe your great great grandfather campaigned for Roosevelt...  think what a gold mine that would be for you today.  To have that perspective in your file.  To be able to share that perspective with the generations you have today.

So from one genealogist to another - please, take the time to sit down and record your thoughts,  did you campaign for one side over the other,  make phone calls, go to a rally?  Did you save any election materials, perhaps scan them in and link them to the facts in your file?  Family history isn't just about those who went before us,  its also about the history that's taking place now.  The history we are living now.   Won't you take the time and write it down now?

Oh yeah, be sure to grab tomorrow's paper and scan it in.  You'll be glad you did!

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