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May 5, 2010


A few years before my Grandad passed away, I was getting into researching my family tree. I thought what a great genealogy reference source Grandad would be.

As we were living in different cities, I wrote to him (the old fashioned way) and asked if he had any stories from his lifetime and explained why I was asking. He had spent most of his life in England, before moving to Australia to be closer to family. He had lived through two World Wars, peace time, and the Depression years. Not to mention the great advances in technology, like cars, trains, planes, television, mobile phones, man on the moon, and so much more.

About a month later I got a letter in return saying "I think you're too old to be sitting on my knee and telling stories to."

So there went my dream of connecting with the past, finding out more about what might have been a very interesting life. He lived life through some amazing times, and he took it all away with him.

My advice is to pester your seniors while you still can. Find out what they can share with you. And don't take no for an answer.

I wish I had been armed with some interview questions such as these when I approached my Grandad. But knowing little about how to go about it, I simply let him brush me and my request aside, like it was of little or no importance.

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Share your thoughts or experiences. What interesting things have you found out from your grandparents, or even from your parents, when filling out your family tree?
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