Sunday, April 24, 2011

Preserving Our Roots - Collecting Family History



For a while I've had this picture, trying to decide the best place for it. You see, it was my mothers.  Birch trees were her favorite and about 30 years ago a lovely neighbor painted it for her.

Back then we lived in a house just a short walk from the beach. I remember that brilliant summer afternoon. The clean scent of ocean air softly drifted our way on the breeze. We were sitting on the back deck of her friend Eileen's house, enjoying the easy laughter that always seems to flow on those "life is good" days. Eileen stepped into the house and when she returned she was carrying the painting in her hands. I still recall the look of pure delight in my mother's eyes. No one had every done anything like that for her before and she treasured it.

When she passed away my step-father kept the painting, and now that he is also gone, it has been passed down to me. Yesterday, I decided to hang it in my office on the wall just over my shoulder. It makes me feel as if she is watching over me.

The memory of that summer day started me thinking about family and traditions, and so I decided to put together some resources for you.  Later today I will again host one of our family traditions, the Easter Egg Hunt. Although my son is 24 years old he still insists on the hunt, and of course, his Easter Egg Basket.  Family traditions can come from all kinds of moments, Easter Egg hunts, summer days, and paintings of birch trees...what's important is that you remember them.

RESOURCES
Center for Studies in Oral Tradition
http://oraltradition.org/
Indian Country Wisconsin - Ojibwe Oral Tradition
http://www.mpm.edu/wirp/ICW-141.html
Oneida Oral Tradition
http://www.mpm.edu/wirp/ICW-136.html

Kentucky Bacon Oral History Project - "In Kentucky, curing bacon and hams has been a necessity of life for generations. In more recent years, this tradition has been in retreat. ... There remain, however, a select few artisans who cling faithfully to family traditions." This site provides audio clips and edited transcripts of oral histories of some of these artisans.
http://www.southernfoodways.org/oral-history/kentucky-bacon-oral-history-project/
Copyright http://lii.org/cs/lii/view/item/24156

In The First Person - Over 2,500 collections of oral history from around the world: personal narratives, letters, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, and oral histories; a goldmine of information.
http://www.inthefirstperson.com/firp/index.aspx

Oral Tradition Journal -This is one fabulous resource you will return to again and again. The Center for Studies in Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri has generously placed twenty-two years of their journal online. The site contains nearly 500 articles and 10,000 pages with the contents downloadable as pdf files. The site is also searchable by keyword or author name.  Thanks to Jo Radner for passing this site along. http://journal.oraltradition.org/

Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide -A 35 page guide for collecting oral histories from family and community members, including tips, forms and questions to get you started.
http://tinyurl.com/3hjt7r4

Family Folklore: How to Collect Your Own Family Folklore - Every family needs a Tradition Bearer so why not you? Produced to accompany the exhibition, The Grand Generation, Memory, Mastery’, and Legacy, this guide will lead you through the process of discovering and recording your own family traditions and folklore. http://tinyurl.com/3lmntw8

Storybug.net - You will also find a number of websites I have researched over the years on my website on the Oral History page.
http://storybug.net/links/oralhistory.html

CRAFTS


Ancestry Charthttp://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/familytree/semicircle/
Family Treehttp://www.dltk-kids.com/crafts/miscellaneous/families.htm
My Grandfather's Bookhttp://tinyurl.com/3ee9z5b
My Grandmother's Bookhttp://tinyurl.com/3bdjnfm

CURRICULUM
Family Traditions - UNC Education - Grade 1http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/2856
Family Traditions - Utah Education Networkhttp://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi?LPid=599
Learning to Give - Traditions of the Familyhttp://learningtogive.org/lessons/unit67/lesson1.html
Read Write Think - My Family Traditions: A Class Book and a Potluck Lunchhttp://tinyurl.com/2d96by6



Karen Chace  2011 ©
This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my newsletter via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.




4 comments:

Lynn Ruehlmann said...

Our grown kids and the significant others asked in little tiny voices whether the Easter Bunny was going to visit our house this year. (They're coming over for dinner later.) I said I had no idea what the E Bunny had in mind. But I do believe they may find he might have already been here.....

Karen Chace said...

You are so coy Lynn! I hope your day was lovely.I was able to participate in my own EEH later at my son's in-laws. So much fun! I love being a kid again. :)

Karen

Donna said...

I didn't prepare an Easter Basket for my daughter this year - a first. I just didn't get to it. But when we woke up, there was an Easter basket for my husband and I! It looks like my daughter cherishes tradition as much as I do!

Karen Chace said...

You taught her well Donna! :)

Karen