Finding Family History


I am captivated with my family genealogy. Thankfully, my Grandma has been working on this for many years making it easy for me to enjoy. I can take her labors and create, in my way, pages to honor these people I did not know. But I imagine them well. Tucking little snippets of history away, morsels of story to be pulled out and savored.

Do you know your story? Every thread of our lives weave together, back and forth, in and out. We participate but are often unable to see clearly. Stop and listen. See the beautiful tapestry of your life, and mark it down. It is a common refrain, as we wonder who would want to read about our normal day? Someone will, I promise you. Someday.

Treasures to me are the small things: a copy of my Grandpa’s navy paperwork and a paycheck stub, my husbands Grandma kept farm records that we have copies of, a picture of my Great grandfather shipped alone to Canada as a young boy, adoption papers telling me names of relatives I will never know, a picture of a many times-great uncle from the Civil war.

These things might have seemed commonplace in their original time, but remove them a few generations? They are now a pathway to people. My people. That matters to me. Entertain no concerns about blood lines, your story includes the people who played a part, undefined by such things as this.

What can you do today? Make some record of your days…mere paper in your hands will be a treasure to future generations. The treasure hunters of story. Guardians, to document that these faces- these people— lived. And it mattered.

I’ll share with you a few favorites for this year. These are my paternal Great-Grandparents. A copy of the marriage registry was available so I used that too. When the story seems unknown, dig deeper. Stacey Julian is who first inspired me to tie lives together, past and present. If you aren’t familiar with her, check out her work here. Then came Ali Edwards and my creative world was altered.

I finally documented the journey of my Great-Grandfather, and am sharing a layout of 4 generations of my “girls”.


About christasterken

Committed to a life of purpose. Learning to live abundantly. Embracing creativity. Questioning. Delighting in the comforts of home and family. Determining not to settle only for how things are, but how they could be. Writing is part of who I am, so I trust In God who gave the gift to show me how I can serve Him through it. That is my life…one word at a time. Psalm 89:11a“Teach me your way , O Lord, and I will walk in your truth”

6 responses »

  1. How wonderful. My mother has done a family history for my dad’s side of the family and has been working on hers. My husband and I recently picked up again on his family history. I was working on it until I became ill.

      • The downside is that all the records that I had copied are now unaccessible to me. We have been doing a lot on and I hope that I can get my husband to copy some of the papers that I need so that I can look at them. I know I have things that are important and pictures that I want to use but until they are copied, they will stay in the box they were put in. It is fun to see how far we can go out on a line. We try and work on it a couple of evenings a week. I have the family history book my mother did but have it stored as well because of issues with mold.

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