Sunday, November 20, 2011
Sentimental Sunday - Are We?
This morning I was preparing a post for the Sentimental Sunday prompt over at GeneaBloggers. All at once an interesting question popped into my head.
Are family historians more sentimental than the general population? Are we? Am I?
To answer this question we need to find the exact meaning of the word. I proceeded to search Merriam-Webster website and found interesting results.
a : marked or governed by feeling, sensibility, or emotional idealism
b : resulting from feeling rather than reason or thought <a sentimental attachment > <a sentimental favorite>
*He has a sentimental attachment to his old high school
What would you say about traveling hundreds of miles to visit an ancestral home or graveyard? I remember the feeling of instant connection when seeing my great-grandparents home. Also, the sense of comfort when strolling along the path in any cemetery. Does this make me sentimental or slightly crazy?
*She saved her wedding gown for sentimental reasons
Do we really need to talk about saving items of sentimental value? Cabinets, plastic containers, notebooks, bookcases and trunks full of things someone just MIGHT want someday. Taking inventory of our home you would discover most of what I own can be traced to an ancestor. Pack rat or sentimental lady?
*He has sentimental ideas about the past
Guilty! Most of our time as family historians is spent in the past. Meeting and connecting to people who have long since departed this life. Many times we are drawn into their world and may even have a somewhat romanticized view. No doubt many of our ancestors lives were difficult and filled with hardships. Even so, would we not love to time-travel back for one day and spend time walking in their lives? Oops, think I crossed from sentimental to sci-fi wacky!
*I tend to get very sentimental when I think of my childhood
Not necessarily my childhood but that of my parents, grand-parents, great-grand-parents and so forth. I can spend hours reading about the early life of any ancestor. Discovering where they went to school, what occupation they chose and how events shaped their lives. You have to give me a resounding sentimental on this one!
From the answers it looks like I am indeed very sentimental. That is a large part of being the family historian. Without the ingrained desire to preserve memories and heirlooms much of our family history would disappear.
Thank goodness along with being curious and tenacious we are extremely sentimental.
Been a sort of chicken/egg discussion happening. Are family researchers inherently sentimental or do they become so after connecting with an ancestor? What say you?