After 23 Years, She Heard Her Father's Voice

Have you heard that it’s impossible to learn anything about your family because of pogroms, war, the Shoah and other genocides, and natural disaster? I’ve heard it myself growing up, and now i hear it from a lot of people, still, today.

In fact, I heard this just last weekend.

But, what if you could find the stories you believed you could never hear again, or that all is lost because of war, genocide or natural disaster?

On last week’s blog, I shared with you a story of how a woman came to the realization that after her aunt had passed away, she came to the conclusion that because she was the last of the older generation in her family, all of her family’s stories were gone and they could no longer be recovered (if you haven’t read last week’s, check it out here).

I also shared how it’s not too late to find out about your family’s stories

I got a reply from a woman who shared with me her incredible finding. She said I could share this with you all, so I’ve shared an excerpt from her email below:

“My dad was [in Poland] in the thick of [World War II], survived, and ended up in Canada where he met my mother, and where I was born. 

He never spoke about those times and I never asked. Now he’s been gone for 23 years and I am in a place where I want/need to know. The ancestors are calling....

I’m writing this because I know that synchronicity can always intervene! Once I started to make sincere efforts to find out more about his story (and mine), help started to arrive. I visited a veteran’s group and met another descendant of a veteran. The man I met happened to be a history buff, and he informed me that my dad had given an interview that was archived at a multicultural library in my city! 

I have been able to hear my dad’s life story, told in his own words. I found out facts that I never knew. My mother was surprised, as she didn’t know most of these things either. So much more has been filled in.”

I was so happy to hear that she was not only able to meet this man, but she was able to HEAR the words of her father almost a quarter of a century after his passing.

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Not everyone gets the exact opportunity like this woman.

Sometimes it might be a story from someone else (or maybe even just hearsay).

Sometimes it might be documentation (yes, many of these can still be found from overseas archives… depending on the country’s laws for access) or a newspaper clipping.

But the point is that it IS possible to hear the stories. They are not gone forever. There are other ways to connect.

She was able to connect to her father 25 years later.

She was able to experience her OWN STORY that led to her as she is today.

She is supposed to be here. Her story is a part of the tapestry of our world.

So what can YOU do TODAY to learn about the stories of your family or long lost ancestors?

(1) ASK I’ve shared this one many times, because I find this is SO IMPORTANT. Talk to your family if you can. If you haven’t done so yet, get your free copy of {Y}our Connecting Conversations.

If you have older generations you want to learn from -whether about them or someone else in your family- use these questions to help get you started (and bust through the fear of asking) and to preserve them for generations.

If you have younger children in your life, you can use this guide to help you write your own autobiography, or have them ask you the questions themselves to help. Talking about family history is super important to the emotional & psychological well-being of your kids. Read why here.

(2) LOCAL ARCHIVES- Depending on what it is that you want to learn about your family or ancestors, check out local museums or archives. If anything, they can

(3) CYNDI’S LIST- This website has links to every little thing you can think of to help you with your genealogical research & search. It can connect you to websites and place you’ve never thought of. It’s constantly updated with… you guest it…. LISTS of sites in different categories and places around the US and the world.

You can check out Cyndi’s List here.

Play around with it. To be honest, sometimes I forget about it, and when I realize I’ve forgotten about this gem, I’m so glad I did!

(Keep in mind, sometimes websites come down and they haven’t been taken off Cyndi’s List yet.)

(4) HIRE A GENEALOGIST- Hiring a genealogist can be such an incredible investment to learn your family stories or family history. This doesn’t just stop with you, it can impact so many people in your family and for generations to come. Even when I’ve worked with other genealogists, it creates such a world of difference in my own research. Whether you’ve hit a brick wall or you just want a partner to help you to extend the branches of a line in your tree. Or, maybe you’re like me and have specific people on your family tree you REALLY want to “get to know.” Perhaps you want to find a biological relative.

If this is something you’ve been thinking about doing or are curious about, please, DO get curious. You can reach out to me with ANY questions you may have. I also offer services like Discover {Y}our Story, Open {Y}our Book. or Forensic (Living People) Genealogical Research. Please don’t hesitate to email me.

Learn your family stories while you still can.

Even if you don’t, future generations may want to know about you and your ancestry.

You got this :)