Without my grandmothers, would I be a genealogist?
I spent a lot of my childhood with my paternal grandmother, Bessie Frances Faulkenberry Hendrickson, and a lot of my adult years with my maternal grandmother, Nora Roselan Dearing Stout.
Grandma Hendrickson loved telling me stories about how her father was born during the Civil War. According to family legend, the farm house was burned during a raid by Quantrell’s Raiders. The night of the raid, her father was born in the garden. She also told me about her grandfather and how he managed to evade Indians while clearing his field. Those stories have stayed with me for decades.
My Grandma Stout told me about her grandfather’s experience in the Civil War and how he had been shot in the knee during the battle of Shiloh. When I was old enough I wrote to the National Archives for his service record and guess what? She was right. He had been wounded in the knee at Shiloh, then sent home for several months of recuperation.
So would I be doing genealogy without my grandmothers’ stories? Who knows.
I just know that to this day I remember the stories they told me and try to save as many of their stories – and those of other ancestors – as much as possible. It’s the stories that make the people real to me – and I bet it’s the stories that do the same for you.
I’m eternally grateful to my grandmothers. Without them I don’t think I’d be a genealogy author, genealogy researcher, or family story collector.