Getting them to the family stories

Well, we had the family here for Thanksgiving and a good time was had by all.  And I noticed (as I do every time family comes to my house, but then I forget again) that the painting of my great great grandfather Zebulon Coffin and the various family pictures that I have on my dining room wall elicited interest and questions.  One wall in my dining room is a sort of collage of various family pictures from both my side and my husband’s, some older and some more recent.

Now, like many genealogists, I have found that if I raise the topic and start asking questions about family history people’s eyes glaze over and they back away.  However, when they look at the pictures as they sit at the table or wander around waiting for dinner they get interested and ask questions.  Some of the questions I can answer and others I can’t (at least not yet).  And people even tell stories or talk about what they remember based on the pictures.  This year, non-direct family members also asked questions and told their own family stories.  It was wonderful!  I wish I had been part of each of those conversations, but just knowing that they happened makes me happy.

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