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Family history

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone who was doing research into our family tree, or rather, my father's family tree. I mailed him a a few bits of information a couple of days ago, and received some info back in turn. For the moment, the tree goes back to ca. 1570, but that's not what struck me most.

Years ago, my father's brother took his family and moved them some 200 kms away from us. Since my father resented the fact that his brother's wife insisted on a phone call before a visit, we basically never saw them or their 3 sons again. I must have been about 10 when I last trudged the meadows with my cousins on my father's side, and somehow, in all the intervening years, whenever their existence crossed my mind, I pictured them as little boys. I remember how I went hunting for frogs with S., and how M. insisted on rescuing a baby bird that had fallen out of the nest when it was clear to both S. and myself that it would be better off having its neck snapped; and as to A., well, I only remember him in nappies...Now I have it here in black and white, that those litte boys have families of their own. And I'm strangely confused by that. If I met them in the street tomorrow, I wouldn't recognize them.

But then, I almost didn't recognize my own father this afternoon. I'm not happy with the level of care he receives in the home he's in. I know they're short-staffed and all that, but is that any reason to put his clothes on back to front? There were several unwashed cups and plates littered around his room, and his bed hadn't been made. They charge us 1200 euros a month, and they can't even find the time to comb his hair? It's a bleeding disgrace.

Also, the hot water isn't working, and according to my Dad, the hot water has been off for over a week now. He's complained about it, but nothing has been done to correct the problem.

I've made an appointment to see the manager next week, because this is simply not on.


Dec. 5th, 2004 02:45 pm (UTC)
My mother has the family tree bug at the moment

Has she now? Has it anything to do, perhaps, with that BBC programme in which marginally famous people get to travel all over the world on your license fee money to piece together their family history?

Apparently, the person that's doing the genealogical research into our family, only took it up as a hobby when he retired about 10 years ago; so he's had some time to go back as far as he has. But the funny thing is: he's put all this time and effort in, but he's not even a member of the family himself. It's his wife who is, and she's not nearly as interested! ;-)
Dec. 5th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC)

The program is a motivating force (read kick up the bum), for something she's wanted to do for a long time. Why she couldn't have done it while her parents generation were still alive and could tell us about their parents I don't know, because we can't find a trace of them. It doesn't help that none of the family is talking anymore.
Dec. 5th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, I can see that that would be a complicating factor.

I suppose that we're lucky really in that stories on the family history have always circulated on both my mother's and father's side. They may not have been particularly interested, but they did know certain things about their parents, grandparents and greatgrandparents to make it possible for someone of my generation., e.g. to go back in tim eto the mid-1800s without any difficulty. I was 10 when my paternal greatgrandfather died, and he'd told me about his father, and the story he'd been told about the family's origins. I never really thought about it, but it's come as quite a surprise to see how much of this oral tradition can actually be substantiated by documents this amateur genealogist has unearthed.
Dec. 5th, 2004 03:44 pm (UTC)
I've learnt a lot already, like the suspicions that my grandfather was fatally injured in a fight and a great-uncle died in a plane crash etc, so that at least is something. But there seems to be a brick wall we can't get past. Very frustrating.