Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Own Cabinet of Curiosities

As we approach the holidays, my life--like those of many of you, I'm sure--has been busier than ever. I had hoped to write something for the many fabulous new genealogy-related carnivals that have recently been created; have you seen them? Lisa, at Small-Leaved Shamrock, has an Irish Heritage and Culture Carnival, Jessica Oswalt from Jessica's Genejournal has started one for Central and Eastern European Genealogy, and Tim Abbott from Walking the Berkshires just posted the first Cabinet of Curiosities Carnival, a kind of show and tell of genealogical and historical treasures. I misunderstood when the deadline for the Cabinet Carnival was and just got too pushed for time; I'll have to submit a post next time around. However, several months ago, I was interviewed by a local reporter about my family treasures--which I hope to share one at a time in future Cabinet Carnivals--and today that article was published in The Spokesman-Review's Home and Garden section (online version here).

It was a lot of fun to share with the reporter and photographer (both delightful individuals!) the stories behind the antiques and mementos that have been handed down through the generations to me. I was pleased that what I had to say about the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society was published, and I hope that it will generate more interest in the society from the community. The only quibble I had with the article is that the reporter and I did not engage in a discussion about DNA long enough for me to explain that one does not need resort to exhumation of corpses to obtain a DNA match for a deceased ancestor. This is where genealogy is so handy: by tracing the family tree, you can find other descendants of an individual, and by attempting to match your DNA with theirs, you can prove relationship to the ancestor! While you can only view one photograph in the online version, the print article had many detailed shots of various family treasures, including my 4th-great-grandmother's cross-stitch sampler, my great-grandmother's baby picture, and a genealogy bumper sticker on my car! I purchased several copies of the newspaper to share with family and friends.

This Thanksgiving, I hope you'll take the time to talk to your own family about your traditions, tales, and treasures. Don't forget to write down what you learn to preserve those things for future generations!
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