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Thread: The information that got away - - -

  1. #1
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    The information that got away - - -

    Are there any things that you wish you had asked your parents or grandparents before they died?

    Or paid better attention to when the topics were brought up?

    My Grandma B was a great source of information - but she would go on and on about the 16th cousin twice removed that was married to an 6th cousin four times removed - that I had never met - so I sort of zoned out when she was talking. Don't remember her talking that much about the people that I actually knew!

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i just wish i'd spent more time getting to know my grandparents and greats. as a youngster, i was too much into playing and not interacting with adults. i was fortunate to know all of my great grandparents, though.
    Nancy in western NY
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  3. #3
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    I loved my grandma. Grandpa too, but for different reasons. Grandma taught me inside the house, kitchen and heart stuff - Grandpa taught me that baby chicks can't swim (after I couldn't figure out why they sank and duckies didn't.) and outside stuff, growing raspberries, sheep, beekeeping.

    But Grandma taught me one thing and she always wrote it in a birthday card or when we left the farm for home, she would give me a hug and say "Be good and you'll always be happy". Grandpa and Grandma had a little farm in Waterloo, Wisconsin. I loved it there - Fireflies at night, rooster crowing in the morning, windmill creaking and the sheep baa'ing! And my little lamb - Sammy. He was the black sheep in the herd. Grandma and Grandpa came to visit us here in St. Paul and mom called us in for dinner and we sat down and said grace and we're eating and chatting and Grandma said "How do you like the dinner?" "It's good", we said. Mom said "It's Sammy". I was about nine years old at the time........I am going to be 76 come September and have never been able to eat lamb since. My poor little Sammy. That was when I learned that farm animals are not pets and my son and his family live on a farm and they have gone through the same thing with the grandkids and son of a gun, I felt so bad for them the first time. Deja vu all over again!!!!!!! Cherish the memories of grandma and grandpa. They are too soon gone. I have several of grandma's recipes - my favorite is Wisconsin Hickory Nut Cake. A Prize recipe. Can't find Wisconsin Hickory Nuts that easily, however.

    I am happy.
    Edie
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    I am so confused. I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse."

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    Super Member Moonglow's Avatar
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    I wish I had paid more attention to my mother when she was cooking Polish food.

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    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
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    Surprisingly the information my parents didn't talk about is turning out to be more important that anything else. Their Health and who died of what. And to make it even more mysterious, my dad was a doctor. But they subscribed to the idea that "the kids don't need to know that."
    marykayhopkins123.blogspot.com

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    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    I wish I'd written down the information shared by my husband's grandfather about the wagon train. He was on the last one out of Nebraska.

    I wish I'd asked more about my maternal grandmother's growing up years. Her mother died shortly after childbirth of her fourth child. So how did the family handle all that?

    My father's mother let it be known that my brother was her favorite, but I wish I'd been able to get around all that and ask her about her family. Family lore now has it that she was forced into marrying, and it would be good to know if that was true or not. If so, it would explain a lot, but on the other hand, why would that have been done? She was the only girl in that family.

    And there are things I'd like to explain to my son and his wife, but they aren't interested. It's all about her.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

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    When my father was still alive and bedridden I would fly every couple of months to see him. I would sit by his bedside and he would tell me stories about his growing up. I still cherish these times
    Carmen E.

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    I wish I had gotten into quilting when either (or better, both!) of my grandmothers were still alive. They were both very dedicated and prolific quilters and I wish they could have seen that their beloved hobby was going to be kept up in the family. Plus I wonder how many things they could have taught me, how much bonding we could have done working on projects together. But both of my parents were the youngest of several children, so all of my grandparents had passed away by the time I was in my mid 20's, and I didn't pick up quilting until just a couple years ago (I'm nearly 40 now).

  9. #9
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Grandparents? Whatz that? My folks were the youngest of 7-10 kids each side. They did not have kids until in their 30's. So.....no memories for me! Waiting to have kids later in life deprives them of grandparents.

    Sandy
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  10. #10
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    Most of us have the luxury of knowing are parents and grandparents. We have written up some of our oral history for further generations. I have also saved as many wedding portraits as possible. I don't think further generations will be all that interested in the ton of other photos but I think they should at least have the wedding portraits for doing their family trees.
    I worry about the children artificially conceived and adopted with no history. It must be hard for them.

  11. #11
    Super Member nena's Avatar
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    I have been doing ancestry and how I wish I had paid more attention to stories that were told. A word of advice , write down things you can remember and but away for your children. Someone in your family will some day be where we are now and will be so happy to have it.

  12. #12
    Super Member helou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nena View Post
    I have been doing ancestry and how I wish I had paid more attention to stories that were told. A word of advice , write down things you can remember and but away for your children. Someone in your family will some day be where we are now and will be so happy to have it.
    I was going to write that. I once read that every person could write what they remember of their own parents , grandparents, their own childhood memories etc... no need to be a writer, just some lines here and there so that once the next generation reaches their 60's or 70's in age they could have something they did not think of asking when they were younger.
    I started being interested in genealogy and family history when I was in my 40's and my parents were still alive. I still remember their smiling eyes when they answer some of my questions and I was taking notes about their parents, grand-parents, their first Xmas gifts (which they did not have except for and orange and some little treats and it was on New Year's day not at Xmas, etc...)

    Dad's grandfather was born in the States and mom's father was 4th generation of Irish descendant and I still have a hard time to speak english... go wonder loll

    I went into genealogy and family history to try to find out some of the questions I was not interested in when I was younger. Now, I am writing some of the "stuff" I know in case my nieces and their children (I have no children) get interested in when they reach retirement age... who knows!

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    [QUOTE=Tartan;6781471][B][COLOR=#0000cd]Most of us have the luxury of knowing are parents and grandparents. We have written up some of our oral history for further generations. I have also saved as many wedding portraits as possible. I don't think further generations will be all that interested in the ton of other photos but I think they should at least have the wedding portraits for doing their family trees.
    I worry about the children artificially conceived and adopted with no history. It must be hard for them.[COLOR="#FF0000"][/



    Whoa, there! Children who are artificially conceived have a history or a herstory. How many people can say they were so badly wanted that parents went through so much to get them? Adopted kids, whatever their birth origin, get families, moms, dads, uncles, aunts, grandparents, et. al. and that child is part of that family history and that family history ecomes part of the child. What's more, everyone makes history or herstory every day he or she lives. Now, to step off my soap box--froggyintexas

  14. #14
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    My grandmother and my Mom made sure I learned to embroider and sew early in life. Cooking/baking came next; but family stories (good or bad) were never told as that was not their way of life back then. Medical secrets were never told either (good or bad).
    I wish that I could of met the two great aunts I was named after as I heard they were a hoot- always laughing, positive and just jovial.
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    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    My mom died when I was 9, so I missed a lot of info from her. Would have liked to hear what her life before marriage was like, she did not marry until age 38, was taking care of her parents until they died.

    I would also have liked to ask my dad why he paid for me to live with a foster family after he divorced my step-mom. It was explained to me at the time, that it was better for me to live with a family. But he WAS my family. It wasn't until I met my DH as he was going through a divorce, that I realized he (DH) would never have sent his kids away to live with strangers. And my dad lived in the same town as me.

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    My Grandfather was a wonderful story teller. I could and did sit for hours listening to him. The only thing I wish I had learned more about from him was about his parents and grandparents and their histories.

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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts View Post
    I would also have liked to ask my dad why he paid for me to live with a foster family after he divorced my step-mom. It was explained to me at the time, that it was better for me to live with a family. But he WAS my family. It wasn't until I met my DH as he was going through a divorce, that I realized he (DH) would never have sent his kids away to live with strangers. And my dad lived in the same town as me.
    I'm not sure how old you are, but it's entirely possible that it could have been "the times", or maybe he just wasn't capable of raising a daughter, especially if you were the only child.

    My grandfather and his brother were put into an orphanage at a very young age after their mother had a stroke and drowned while swimming. This despite the fact that they still had a father. But I guess single fathering just wasn't done back in those days. They lived in the orphanage until their dad remarried. Unfortunately the stepmom was a witch.

    My grandfather is the sweetest, most gentle, most law-abiding, kindest person I have ever known, DESPITE the fact that at age 5, he tried but failed to save his drowning mother; DESPITE the fact that he lived in an unpleasant, loveless orphanage until his early teens; DESPITE the fact that he spent his teen years with a horrid, physically, mentally abusive stepmother. I think about this every time I hear of criminals who get off because they had a bad childhood. Put me on the jury, please.

    Another fascinating tidbit: I remember reading a news story a few years back about a family whose toddler son had vanished many, many years ago. A man (I want to say he was in his 60's?) had come forward, requesting a DNA test because he suspected he was that toddler. As I read further into the story, I was shocked to learn that the mother had left the child outside the grocery store as she shopped, and he had vanished while she was inside. There had been a lot of searching and publicity, but he was never found. I was aghast and was talking to my grandmother about this and said, "Who on earth would ever leave a child outside a grocery store, unattended?? Especially one so young?" She told me they used to do it all the time! My mom was born in 1950 and my grandma said the moms would go to the grocery store, park the kids in strollers at the front entrance, and go inside to shop. Nobody thought twice about it.

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    Junior Member Quilt Fan's Avatar
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    I was so lucky to grow up where my mother grew up and not far from my father's home. My grandmothers were both good cooks and sometimes they did not have a lot to work with. My grandmother would make rice with cinnamon and sugar and we thought it was a wonderful treat. Years after I asked my mother why she did not eat rice. Her answer was that she had a lot of rice when growing up. They did not sew a great deal but my mother did.
    Even with being close there were a lot of things I did not ask. We have been in to genealogy for 30 years and always encourage folks to talk to their older family members before time goes by. If one just gathers birth, marriage, and death information including names, dates, and places. You may not be interested but someone after you might.

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    I had grand parents, but we lived in NJ and they lived in MN. Only met them 3 times in my life. I always wanted more family around when I was a kid. I guess that's why I have my own grands visit for 6 weeks each summer.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  20. #20
    Super Member AngeliaNR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryKatherine View Post
    Surprisingly the information my parents didn't talk about is turning out to be more important that anything else. Their Health and who died of what. And to make it even more mysterious, my dad was a doctor. But they subscribed to the idea that "the kids don't need to know that."
    Yes!

    I had my grandmothers most of my life (my paternal grandmother died last year at 104), but both refused to discuss health issues, even when I was an adult.
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    I wish I would have asked my parents detailed questions! In doing ancestry research I've found out that so many of the things I thought were true, were not. I've found out that Grandma wasn't born where we thought she was, and my great-grandfather listed different names for his parents, and different dates of birth, and birthplace for himself. My Dad's side was always very "secretive" and it's been a journey to untangle! Wished I had been more inquisitive when I was younger!!

  22. #22
    Super Member DebbieJJ's Avatar
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    I wish I'd written down what my grandmother told me about our family on my Dad's side. But I'm piecing some more of the history together from talking to my aunts. They all love family history as much as I do, Thank the good Lord. Dad's youngest sister has been into geneology for years, and I hope to get a copy of all of that before too long.
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    Junior Member Quilt Fan's Avatar
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    One can obtain a copy of death certificates. Quite often there is interesting health information depending on how much the doctor wrote. Older records are sometimes available through the local or county Historical and Genealogy Societies. If not through those groups County Vital Records have everything recorded.

  24. #24
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Most of us have the luxury of knowing are parents and grandparents. We have written up some of our oral history for further generations. I have also saved as many wedding portraits as possible. I don't think further generations will be all that interested in the ton of other photos but I think they should at least have the wedding portraits for doing their family trees.
    I worry about the children artificially conceived and adopted with no history. It must be hard for them.

    We adopted our son and he is as much family to my grandmother as I am. He is endowed with my heritage and my husband's heritage and he is a part of both families right down to the core. My son is going to be 50 soon and he knows who he belongs to and the stories from my parents and the stories from my husband's parents and he knows who he is. His history is us. Edie
    Home is where the rags of your life are turned into quilts, lemons become lemonade and a few extra pounds are simply welcomed as "more of you to love."
    I am so confused. I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse."

    BELIEVE

  25. #25
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Most of us have the luxury of knowing are parents and grandparents. We have written up some of our oral history for further generations. I have also saved as many wedding portraits as possible. I don't think further generations will be all that interested in the ton of other photos but I think they should at least have the wedding portraits for doing their family trees.
    I worry about the children artificially conceived and adopted with no history. It must be hard for them.
    Children who are born to a family or adopted into a family, are welcomed into a family that has history. That history belongs to the child- whether he/she is naturally conceived, artificially conceived or adopted. Nothing more need be said about it!
    'He cannot be a gentleman which loveth not a dog' -John Northbrooke
    Try to be as nice a person as your dog thinks you are.

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