MBH Great grandfather, father and aunt


Many people are obsessed with Genealogy, and spend a great deal of time digging up ancestors. I have tasted the fascination myself, although I haven’t had much time to spare for it for a while. Much Better Half and her sister, however, delve constantly and have come up with some really interesting connections and discoveries.

I thought I might, as I have done in the past, put in the occasional post on the subject. This one is addressed to everyone, whether the slightest bit interested in the family or not. In odd moments when the mood strikes, I urge you to jot down reminiscences, what you know about connections and ancestors, and family legends. Official and church etc records only go so far, and without the support of personal knowledge a great deal of information is going to be lost, even with the sophisticated records of today.

You and your kids may all not care a two-cent hoot – but will you feel that way in, say, twenty years’ time? Perhaps it might only be your grandchildren in later life who suddenly show a keen interest. A record like the one you will have compiled will be utterly valuable, and they will bless your memory for it. These days, screeds of information can all be stored on the tiniest memory stick.

We so regret not having asked more questions of our parents when they were alive. There were anecdotes which MBH listened to with half an ear, and now we would absolutely love to be able to get the full details. A case in point was when her maternal grandparents helped to hide Winston Churchill in a railway truck after his escape during the Boer War.

Some of the exploits of my father and his brothers found their way into articles and books, and it is great still to have copies of those. However, again, it is too late to ask for more details when I suddenly find I want to hear more. I know my dad had adventures in the BSAP in Rhodesia, and with flying during the war, but I never asked so he never told me. *small break while I kick myself*

Of course, if you really don’t need another distraction in your lives, go about the whole thing very cautiously to avoid getting sucked in. Don’t make any startling discoveries, because that might just end up with you well and truly hooked!

        © July 2011 Colonialist (Letterdash/WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
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  1. SidevieW says:

    I’m amazed at people who don’t want to know where they came from


  2. Well, that has made me think! Time to get our the sound recorder and begin stashing memories away for posterity.
    My father in law visited the Imperial War Museum to lay down memories of his time in REME during the allied invasions of 1944. We are so glad he took the time to share what was inside his head. He died shortly afterwards, and it’s a small but very important part of his life.


  3. adeeyoyo says:

    You’re so right, Col. My youngest sister and I have been discussing just this for the last few months. Memories we can never recover are now gone for good.


  4. Tilly Bud says:

    I have those same regrets. It’s why I started my blog, and why I keep a notebook or 40. My kids and their kids and ad infinitum will know everything I can tell them.

    Impressed by the Churchill story 🙂


  5. Cindy says:

    Well put, Col, I also regret not asking more … and all those little snippets jotted down on paper and old press cuttings, how I wish I’d saved them.


  6. Tokeloshe says:

    Excellent post!
    What a beautiful photo and in such a good condition.
    I fully agree with you and with the technology of today there is no excuse.


    • colonialist says:

      Thank you.
      I did have to retouch it quite a bit. Amazing what one can do to remove spots, disguise tears, fill in damaged parts, and restore contrast to correct fading.
      People don’t make enough effort until they regret not having done so – and by then it is too late!


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