The Egyptians put great emphasis on keeping the names of their pharaohs maintained on their tombs, in halls and records. They believed their pharaohs were immortal as long as their names remained for everyone to see. Genealogy is not unlike that belief. In maintaining records and family trees, we believe we can give some measure of immortality to our ancestors.
My parents were children of the late 1930’s; my grandparents were born in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. I was fortunate enough to personally know all my grandparents. I was even more lucky to hear the stories they told of their parents and grandparents. And with that set of memories, I easily move back to the 1830’s – almost 185 years in the past.
The picture above is of my paternal grandparents, Elzie Chenoweth (1897-1986) and Vera France Chenoweth (1902 – 1995). Both lived long prosperous lives and saw their great grandchildren born. With the blessing of videotape, I can still see them and hear them whenever I want. Grandma Vera was a daily diary writer and I still love to pick them up and read what she had recorded each day. I hear her voice reading it when I see her handwriting. She lives on through her writing. I hope to do that someday also.
These pictures are of my maternal grandparents Jessie Smith Yess and John Yess. These youthful pictures of them remind me they once were young and just beginning their lives. My grandmother had been a schoolteacher and quite frequently wrote down quotes or poems she liked. We still have many letters and poems Grandma Jessie wrote.
The obituary at the left is of the man pictured on the right. August Yess is my 2nd great grandfather and a German immigrant. He became prosperous after immigrating to the United States and owned a lot of land in Peoria County, Illinois. The picture of August and Theresa Yess, as well as the obituary of August Yess, gives immortality to them also.
Immortality as defined by Websters dictionary, means “unending life”. Pictures, stories, documents catalogued bring unending life to our ancestors and thus immortality. It’s vital to honor our friends, relatives and ancestors by recording their names with photos. We honor them when we repeat their names, when we tell their stories, when we remember them. They live long.