I’m Thankful for a Legacy of Stories from My Past

November 24, 2015  - by 

There are stories in my past—of my people and I’m grateful they are recorded. Great Grandpa Hans Christensen and his brother were thrust from their home by their father for the serious crime of Bible study. They left town, found work, in time a new religion, and eventually used all they could earn to journey from Denmark to Utah. Along the way, Hans met a young Danish girl. To illness, she had lost all her hair, but she won his heart.

Another ancestor, John Lathrop, a religious dissenter and leader, found exile in America from an angry king. His departure was dramatic. Released briefly from prison he gathered his family to slip out of England. Solders were approaching to re-arrest him as the ship he boarded cast off to sea.

Centuries later, in less traumatic times, a young Englishman, great, great grandpa Isaac Jones Elkington’s family came here to find a new, better life among friends.

My parents and grandparents faced the depression, farmed, attended school, worked and raised families.

All lives have a message. There are a few heroes and failures, but most of the people in my past were ordinary by the standards of their day. But they are my people and to me they are anything but ordinary. Their lives add color and perspective to the ordinary life I live. I read of what they could do—and did. Their blood runs in my veins. If they could handle their challenges, surely I can handle mine. And if some did not—perhaps I can do better.

I’m thankful for the stories my relatives preserved for their posterity. The legacy of keeping the stories alive for future generations connects and enriches the generations. Family stories are important, sharing sorrow and joy; defeat and triumph; failure and success; pain and glory, and commonplace activities. Some accounts are terse, some funny, some encouraging and some sad. And families can relate to them.

The FamilySearch website provides a place called “Memories” to share those memories with other family members. Take advantage of it and post ancestral stories. Others will be grateful, too.

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