Greetings from Pittsburgh!

No matter what holiday you celebrate at this time of year, it usually means family activities. We get together or communicate with family near and far. In those communications perhaps you stick in a genealogical question or two to your relatives. They can be such a wonderful resource and you won’t find those stories in a library or archives (unless someone has already written them down and distributed them).

While doing research, novice genealogists often say “why don’t they have the book on my family?” I say “they” is “us” who haven’t done it yet! It is important to put into writing the stories that are told around the holiday dinner table. If you have relatives who state they don’t know anything, bring out the pictures! Nothing like seeing the faces of those people and times past to spark endless stories. Or how about that turkey platter or candlestick that has been in the family forever? Our family heirlooms also have stories begging to be told. Have family recipes? Make them for the festivities. Using the senses (sight, touch and smell) sparks memories as times past are relived.

Our wish for you the rest of this year and into the New Year is for lots of family fun, laughter, and stories — and a way to record the past so that the future will know who we are and where we came from.

Best wishes for a genealogy-filled New Year,

Elissa and Debbie

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