Friday, July 21, 2006

NOTE FROM MYRT: My previous column titled "KEEPERS" was missing the bibliographic citation to the article about Lebanese migration. Please note the amended column below. Myrt :)

DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy

As we think about the push-pull factors encouraging our ancestors to migrate, we think about religious freedom, devastating wars, failed crops, political strife, or perhaps lack of land for the younger generations.

Sometimes we forget the toll it takes on a family to have separation between parents and children, husband and wife, or the younger generation and the family elders who were too infirm to withstand the rigors of travel.

My Google alert for the word "ancestry" brought the following article to my attention. Here's a first-hand witness, describing how difficult it is to have family scattered across the globe, even in the 21st century.

From the Fairfax Digital
July 22, 2006
(from page 2)
"The Lebanese arrived in Australia in three waves. The first two, between 1880 and the 1920s and then between 1947 and 1975, mainly involved Christians searching for new opportunities. But Batrouney says people in the third wave, which arrived after the civil war intensified in 1976, did not necessarily want to leave their country. Some considered Australia as a temporary home and returned when the war was over, bolstering traffic between the nations." [...]

"Just imagine your mother or sister or brother, and you don't know whether they're dead or alive … you don't know whether they're trying to escape the war zone or if they're able to," says Camilleri. "It's almost worse to be 10,000 miles away than it is to be on the spot."


So, my DearREADERS, doing family history is more than gathering names and dates, its understanding and appreciating the daily struggles faced by our ancestors. Think of the woman alone on the prairie having her second child, without her mother to attend? Perhaps that grandmother stayed in the old country because financial circumstances did not allow the move.

Wouldn't a letter from a distant loved one mean the world to each woman?

The genealogy you are compiling will one day be precious to a distant descendant, curious to know from whence he came. Family historians are the keepers of the ties that bind. Keep up the good work.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

No comments:

Post a Comment