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    The Story Tellers
    Written by Tom Dunn

    The Story Tellers.... we are the chosen, or why I am
    so fascinated ("obsessed") with Genealogy.

    My feelings are that in each family there is one who
    seems called to find the ancestors: to put flesh on
    their bones and make them live again, to tell the
    family story and to feel that somehow they know and

    To me doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts
    but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone
    before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes
    have one. We have been called as it were by our
    genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell
    our story. So, we do.

    In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How
    many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have
    lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors
    you have a wonderful family and you would be proud
    of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave
    and felt somehow there was love there for me? I
    cannot say.

    It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who
    am I and why do I do the things I do. It goes to seeing
    a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and
    indifference and saying I can't let this happen. The
    bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my
    flesh. It goes to doing something about it.

    It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to
    accomplish, and how they contributed to what we are

    It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their
    never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go
    on and build a life for their family.

    It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and
    keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense
    understanding that they were doing it for us. That we
    might be born who we are. That we might remember
    them. So we do. With love and caring and scribing
    each fact of their existence, because we are them
    and they are us.

    So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is
    up to that one called in the next generation to
    answer the call and take their place in the long line of
    family storytellers.

    That, is why I do my family genealogy, and that is
    what calls those young and old to step up and put
    flesh on the bones.

  • We are the Chosen by Della M. Cummings Wright and re-
    written by her granddaughter Della Joan McGinnis Johnson.

Kindergarten 1977
As I look up from my desk I see our family
pictures and heirlooms looking back at me. It
is for them that I pursue my research and
delve into the past. Whatever lies hidden in an
archive on microfilm, tucked away in a dusty
box up in an attic or on a weather worn stone
hidden in a cemetery. These treasures drive
me to fill in the blanks of my tree, our family
tree. I want to find out the truths, the
unknown, the mystery of where our people
came from, how they got here and how they
lived. How are we to know where we are
going if we don't know where we came from?
For my two young beloved daughters, this is
your history.