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Voltaire

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.

Sat on the floor, surrounded by printed records, wielding my stapler with abandon, I suddenly became horrified by what I was doing. I had people’s lives laid  out before me. I was reducing each one to a tidy pile of paper.

It seemed wrong..

I was dealing with individuals who had experienced triumphs and disasters, joy and pain, love and heartbreak,  They had not lived only in two dimensions . Were our lives really that simple-a collection of dates, places, jobs?

I  remember my deep love of the book Possession  by A.S. Byatt and how it had inspired my own family research, as I had struggled  fighting for space, with heavy, handwritten tomes in St Catherine’s house, London.  I found myself very much identifying with  the researchers in A.S.Byatt’s book, as I had handled original, hand-written documents, seeking the stories within..

(This was almost thirty years ago, before almost everything could be found on the web. Still there is nothing quite like the feel and smell of original, musty old documents.)

My blog is my story of my efforts to reach beyond the paperwork , to reveal lives.

Some family trees have beautiful leaves and some just have nuts but remember it’s the nuts which make the tree worth shaking.

By Unknown