Questions I wish I had asked my mother [and other older relatives ]
Where was the house you grew up in? What was the street address? Did you live in more than one place? [I could look them up on GoogleEarth with that information]
What do you remember about your parents?
Did you know your grandparents?
What were your siblings like as youngsters?
Were there aunts and uncles in your life as a child?
How close were you with your cousins?
What was the name of your grammar school? High school? How many children were in your classes? What did you take in high school? Did you have a favorite teacher? What did you want to be/do when you grew up?
Who was your best friend when you were growing up? Have you kept in touch?
[I actually have some photos of a close friend's daughter which I would love to be able to return to a family member]
Do you remember any family traditions that have been lost over time?
[You, dear reader, can probably add many "wish I'd asked" questions to this list.]
Recently I wrote about seeing the 2001 BBC series, "Almost Strangers," written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff. It inspired me to find a previous work of his, "Shooting the Past." The plot has to do with an enormous photographic archive, threatened with destruction or at least dispersal, and the staff's ernest efforts taken to preserve it. The power of pictures to tell stories is one of the main points of this remarkable three-part series. If you have puzzled over old family photos, wondering about what stories lie behind them, you'd probably enjoy this.
Anthony Hoskins, History and Genealogy Librarian and Sonoma County archivist, will be speaking at the Sebastopol Regional Library on Saturday, Feb. 3, on the subject of "Online genealogical research." The program is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.-noon. The library is located at 7140 Bodega Avenue in Sebastopol.
He will also be discussing "The use and importance of cemetery records" on Thursday, Feb. 8 at The Chapel at Santa Rosa Memorial Park. That program begins at 6:30 p.m. Location is 1900 Franklin Avenue, Santa Rosa. RSVPs may be made to June Wohlgethan at 707-542-1580.
Online genealogical research will again be covered by Hoskins at the Healdsburg Regional Library the following Saturday, Feb. 17, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Address is Piper and Center Streets, Healdsburg.