26 August 2010

Family Trees: How and why to care for them

How and why should we care for our family trees?

That's the question author Buzzy Jackson answers in her new book, "Shaking the Family Tree." Tracing the Tribe is waiting to receive our copy, but this review in Boulder, Colorado's Daily Camera was too good not to bring to you.

Buzzy is also a member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado. You can see her book trailer here on RootsTelevision.

"Shaking the Family Tree" is a guide to start a reader into their own journey into their own family tree, all the dos and don'ts, all the ins and outs. At the same time, it's an introspective look by a younger-than-your-usual genealogy lover, an educated history buff to boot. Its reflections make a reader think long-term about their own lives even if they may never have occasion to dust off an old family album to learn much more of their surname.
In the story, Buzzy says:

"The lesson I drew from (a high school reunion) was one I kept drawing on this journey: We're all family. During gatherings like weddings and family reunions, we enter a collective subconscious agreement to emphasize and cultivate those subtle relationships, which make us feel even closer.... So much changes in one's first twenty or thirty years of life. And sometimes, it seems, relatively little changes after that. These new conceptions of time and aging were surely a part of why I'd gotten interested in genealogy in the first place. I was starting to experience the slightly desperate feeling of watching time slip away."
Tracing the Tribe understands exactly what she means, and I'm sure you do too.

The book, according to the article, starts with the question of why people want to trace family trees. And these range from confirming or disproving family stories, controversial rumors or if one is related to a celebrity.

"The ritual of time spurred my own quest: my wedding, the trimesters of my pregnancy, the birth of my son," she writes. "Aging is a powerful genealogical incentive. The further from our birth we get, the closer to our past we want to be."
I think it's a good review. You might want to get a copy - put it on your wish list - or gift a copy to relatives who don't exactly understand what and why you do what you do.

As soon as I receive my copy, I'll add my views as well.

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