Sunday, June 17, 2012

Family Legacy

Family legacy has been mentioned in movies, tv and newspapers.  The image of inheriting property and money is one that is very familiar to most of us.  The family legacy discussed in this blog is "something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past.*"  Along the way, I hope you will gain the confidence and knowledge to search through these documents yourself, not just for the lineage.

One thing that has helped me to understand my world is knowing some of what has happened to various members of my family and community.  Knowing a little about the World Wars, the Korean and the Viet Nam Wars has helped me understand our warriors a bit better.

Listening to my elders as I grew up helped me to understand the effects various policies and procedures the U.S. government had on our way of life.  Learning exactly what some of those were clarified my understanding of what I perceived as inaction on the part of those same elders.  It helped me deal with the emotional aspect of trying to walk a path that I didn't want.  I wanted to stay in the familiar and that was changing.  Life comes full circle as we struggle with self-determination.

I'm more appreciative of the electricity we enjoy in the village knowing that my parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins got together and brushed out the route for the line to be brought here.  Everyone who worked got one share in the Cooperative.  I remember everyone being very busy and all the littles were supposed to stay out of the way. I was brought back to the village after walking the great distance of one mile because I wanted my parents who were busy. I didn't know at the time what they were doing. I do now. And I liked watching those TV shows with my friends, having running water.  Could read longer.  When I look at the records from that period of time, memories flood back.  I remember a bit more about different events which help me trace lineages.

It will be the same for you on this journey of yours.  As an Elder here in the village is fond of telling me "Someone always knows" when you are searching for something.  It might help to find a different direction in which to look.  Such as finding out one of my ancestors was taken out of Indian school and sent to live with relatives in Canada.  There is a place to look.  It isn't enough to know that we have relatives in Canada.  You need to know which one specifically.  It might help to remember that one needs a sense of humor about these things.  Dealing with the unexpected can be frustrating at times. There is more to family legacy than perhaps, you've thought about. Miew.

*  leg·a·cy  (lg-s)
n. pl. leg·a·cies
1. Money or property bequeathed to another by will.
2. Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past: a legacy of religious freedom. See Synonyms at heritage.
[Middle English legacie, office of a deputy, from Old French, from Medieval Latin lgtia, from Latin lgtus, past participle of lgre, to depute, bequeath; see leg- in Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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