When reading the prompt for the 88th edition of COG, I immediately had a subject in mind. This part of volunteerism was not mentioned in the call for submission, which I think is a shame. Yes, the volunteer work we as genealogist do is important, because without it, a lot of our research would not be possible or greatly more difficult But equally important is the volunteer work our ancestors did, because it gives us such a wealth of knowledge. People who selflessly give their time to something are remembered, mourned when lost, and leave traces for us that gives us a unique glimpse into the life of an ancestor we never knew.
My grandfather Adolph Knura is such an ancestor. I never knew him, as he died when I was two. Certainly, there are stories my parents tell me, and the stories my grandmother used to tell. But that gives a limited view of someone. However, his volunteer work for the soccer clubs of Voorschoten has left such an impression that even now he is remembered.
When I began looking at my grandfather’s life, I did a quick google search. And behold, I found a mention of him on the website of Voorschoten ’97. I had known he was playing soccer and working as a volunteer for the various soccer clubs in Voorschoten, so this didn’t come as a surprise. The website said:
In 1961 the comlex got field-lights, after which in 1962 a beautiful new club house was build. Manager of the new clubhouse was Dolf Knura, who, riding on his moped , had become a famous villager.
(Translated paragraph from the website of Voorschoten ‘97)
I even have a picture of my grandfather during the construction of the clubhouse, which he oversaw.
The historical section of the website had been written by Hans Douw, who, as I found out, had also written a book about the history of soccer in Voorschoten. In this book, my grandfather’s passing was briefly named:
In Januari Dolf Knura passes away, who played an important role with all of Voorschoten’s soccer clubs.
(Translated sentence from De geschiedenis van het Voorschotense voetbal by Hans Douw, blz. 160.)
But the real value of volunteer work was made abundantly clear when I found the In Memoriam articles about my grandfather. One was from the local newspaper, the other pieces were from the club magazine. They give me a glimpse into the life of my grandfather that I might never had had otherwise. For this, I am grateful. I wish more ancestors had done volunteer work and I’ll make sure that I’ll do some volunteer work as well, if only to leave yet another trace of myself in history for future generations of genealogists.
If you’re interested in reading what I found in the In Memoriam articles, you can read on in Part 2: Adolph Knura In Memoriam.
This post was written for the 88th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.