The following is by contributor Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute.
Iremember the first time I really became personally interested in the stories of my ancestors. I was a newly minted teenager when a family friend pointed out how much I resembled my great grandmother. She was referring to a picture I had seen on a shelf my whole life. I had noticed her, and probably even been interested from time to time, but it wasn’t until after that comment that I suddenly became interested in her as a part of myself. From that moment on I didn’t just look at her picture, I looked for myself there. Her long, dark hair, the shape of her lips, the outline of her face. It was suddenly not about features, but about connections.
My great -grandmother died when my grandpa was just a toddler, so my family didn’t have much in the way of memories to rely on, but what we did have were her stories. These were handed down verbally through the family, and also recorded in a journal that she kept. And just as with her picture, I began to look for myself in her stories as well.