Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We Are the Bards of Our Age

Bard: those who sang the songs recalling the tribal warriors' deeds of bravery as well as the genealogies and family histories of the ruling strata among Celtic societies.

In the old days, it were the bards that preserved history. Both the history of an entire people as the more personal history of some families. Since that time, a lot has changed. Nevertheless, people still have history, we all still have ancestors and a lot of people are interested in those histories and ancestors.

But in these times of Google and Facebook, information is more often than not fleeting. People rarely take the time to sit down and talk about the past. The retelling of family tales is getting more and more rare and with that, more and more of our own personal history is lost.

However, there are those brave few (although we are growing in numbers!) that wade into the swamp that is family tales, stacks of unidentified photographs and towering piles of paper to delve into the past. We are genealogists. We construct our history, the lives of our ancestors and with every piece of information we find and add to our databases, we are preserving this history.

Yet this history, saved though it is for the moment, is still in danger of being lost. Try as we might, we cannot stop time, nor are we immortal. There will come a day that we will no longer walk this Earth. If we are not careful, our painstakingly reconstructed family history will be buried alongside us, the stories once again lost in time.

Therefore it is up to us to not only put our research in a genealogical database, but also to write the story of our ancestors down. Because it will be these stories that will be remembered by our non-genealogically inclined family members. And it will be through these stories that our history and ancestors will live on.

So I call on all of you, my fellow genealogists, to join me in becoming the bards of our age!

Definition of a bard taken from Wikipedia.

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