Words of Wisdom from our folks that we want to pass down to our children.
Final page of “Family Ties and Memories”, 1977, by Legacy Keeper Janis McCoy.
This is not the end.
It is not even the beginning of the end.
It is rather the end of the beginning.
As one nears the last pages of this book, it is tempting to say, “I’m finished,” but that is not the case. One has only completed the reading of a small segment of history about a twig on a gigantic tree. We have linked this twig to a huge branch by a thin twig–nothing more.
Through the endless pages of numerous volumes, trampling over rough terrain, feeling to read inscriptions on long forgotten memorials, and hours of questioning to probe memories–we have begun. It has been a glorious beginning, not measured by what one can see on the written page, but by the feeling of love, loyalty, genuine interest, and concern that has strengthened the ties which bind this family. We have seen the smiles and heard the laughter as people related their tales of younger days. We have also felt the pain and shed tears as we realized the pains and sorrows and troubled times others have endured. And we have realized that it is the culmination of all these which have made each individual just what he is –an individual, yet an integral part of the whole family.
From what you have read in these few pages many questions remain to be answered: Are we really related to King James of England? Did the Dolster woman hasten the death of Jim Black’s first wife? Was Samuel Langston born in North Carolina or Ireland? What great or infamous acts will the living generations perform? Some are unconcerned and some do not want to know, but for others of us–we have just reached the end of the beginning.
Open the sections below to "Remember This".
An old African proverb says, “When an old person dies, the library has burned down.” I encourage any of you who are interested in learning more about your family history to consult the experts – the older generation of your family. Talk to them. Pick their brains. Take notes, tape or videotape your conversations with them. Ask them to identify persons in old photographs. They remember and can tell you stories of your ancestors and family history that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. And when they are gone, that knowledge and those memories – those old storehouses of treasures – are lost forever.
Let me paraphrase the Rev. Gene Britton in the March 1992 issue of Readers’s Digest:
“The next time you’re feeling rather inconsequential, like just another face in the crowd, do a little arithmetic. Each of your parents had two parents, so in the generation just prior to your mother and father, there were four people who paired up and contributed to your existence.
You are the product of eight great-grandparents, 16 great-great grandparents, 32 great-great-great grandparents, etc. If you figure an average of about 25 years between each generation, you’ll find that about 500 years ago, there were over one million people (1,048,576 to be exact) who had a part in placing YOU in this earth.”
Wow! What a background! I feel we owe something, not only to all those people, but to the generations who will follow us. We have the responsibility of preserving as much of our heritage as possible and passing it on to our children. Most of those who went before us worked hard to give us a birthright and heritage of which we could be proud. Let’s not be the ones to drop the ball.
From Edna B. Sanders, when she published her book, Lest We Forget, a History of the Boman, Chandler, Todd and Morris Families of Lamar County, Alabama. The very same applies to the Sanders, Springfield, James and Woods families of Lamar County.
“Read and learn your legacy – of your ancestors who came west to Lamar County, before and after the Civil War, fleeing the ravages of persecution and war, seeking new lands and homes, coming in wagons and on horseback, establishing their claims and building homes, business, Churches and schools. Your ancestors did much to shape Lamar County spiritually, politically, and educationally. They came to Alabama as pioneers and contributed much, both in peacetime and war. You can be proud of them.”