Friday, October 16, 2009

A New Project

I think I may want to take on a new project for myself. Well, really it's for Aaron. See, my family, although they haven't been great at it, has been able to maintain a decent family history. For example, we know where in Spain the family came from prior to arriving in Puerto Rico. We know the accomplishments of our ancestors once they got to the island and if we put our heads together we can even put all the names together in order. Hell, some of my Dad's siblings even have photos that go back to before my grandfather was born (1900). Aaron on the other hand, can't.

While we were at the Holocaust Museum, we tried looking up his family name at one of the database computers. The problem was, he wasn't exactly sure where they would have been from and didn't know any names. We typed in his last name and searched under Poland and a huge list of names came up. He got angry and walked away. He kind of snapped at me to delete our search. He said he was angry because his grandparents never spoke about their family. They never spoke about where exactly the family is from and never spoke about any relatives that may have remained behind. So even if we were looking at their names he wouldn't know. His grandparents just never spoke about what they remember from the war.

This has been bothering me quite a bit. I know these people aren't directly related to ME, but they will be related to our children and haveing them know as little as Aaron knows about this part of the family is a pattern I don't like. I've always believed that it is important to know where you are from or at least have a good understanding about one's family. I know our children will be regaled with stories about my grandparents (on both sides) but they'll also get to hear the stories about how one of our ancestors on the Velez side was a Conquistador and how our relatives founded the city of Lajas on the Western coast of the island and that we're from the Southernmost tip of Spain, Malaga, or less commonly known as Velez-Malaga.

It would also be nice to be able to share some kind of information about his family with them. Even if it's just that they were once from this or that country. Not just what Aaron says when someone asks him where he's from. He usually rattles off a list that includes Russia, Austria, Poland but usually stops there. As far as they've been able to figure these are the primary countries. But that's all they can say. I think I'm going to start working on his family tree. I know their two grandparents names so I should be able to work backwards from there through records. They were from New York City so that part shouldn't be too hard. It'll get a bit tougher once I get into Europe. I think I'll keep this project under wraps until I get a good amount of information to be able to give him. I don't know how he'll react to it, but at least I'll know how to access it and will be able to share it with future generations.


Keri said...

A lot of people who went through the wars don't want to remember let alone talk of it. It might be too painful for his grandparents to talk about relatives left behind.
My sister got pretty far with our family tree with just one name... so maybe that's all you need.
good luck.

Anonymous said...

That's a great idea! Good luck!

BeeOhVee said...

I hope I can track some of his family down. It's kind of a tough subject. both his parents and all of his grandparents passed away already. So I'll need all the luck.

Cathy said...

Mom has been working on our family tree for years.... damned irish name all the sons the sams (no jr/sr)

Try - its a good starting point

for the love of pictures said...

That sounds like a wonderful idea. Good luck :)

Dizzy Vizzy said...

Great project!! And I have had the same experience as Keri - my grandparents did not talk about the details of everything that happened since it was too painful - we had to really pry to get the family tree going.