16 February 2009

The Big Family Reunion

Have you ever sat for a large multi-generation family photo? I think we all have had the experience of waiting for everybody to get into place, sit still and look at the camera. Years ago my mother-in-law planned such an event. She had six married children and 28 grandchildren. The oldest grandchild was preparing to leave on a mission and my mother-in-law was sure the family would never be complete again. It was vitally important that every grandchild be present. So we all gathered together in an wilderness area in Cache county and spent hours waiting and taking photos. By the time each person was in place for the large family photo I was distressed trying to keep my 8 children out of the trees and clean was wearing on me. I faked a smile as the photographer took at least 20 or more shots. When the proofs finally came I was again distressed to find that of my 8 children 2 or more were always making clown faces in the photos. My mother-in-law selected one photo to enlarge and proudly displays this picture in her home.

I have often reflected on the importance that this photo has to my mother-in-law. It represents her posterity and includes her dearest relationships. I think that parallels can be drawn as we think about our ancestors. Our ancestors, each couple found on our pedigree charts had children and their children had children. As we gather and research our family history we need to remember that grandparents want all their grandchildren present, not just some. As I research I make sure that I have gathered all children for every couple found on my pedigree chart. Then I take it another step and find all the grandchildren for every couple on my pedigree chart.

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