25 March 2012

One Foot in the Present, One Foot in the Past

As I mentioned in Not Who We Thought We Were, my great, great grandfather may have changed his name from Shailer to Brainard. When I began to create this family history page, I hoped to capture the mystery that surrounds my maiden name, but as I worked the story became about the enduring draw I have, since childhood, felt from my ancestors. Although rooted in the present, part of me lives in the past and usually the quite distant past, not yesterday or last month. 

The trio of men are my three grandfathers, who brought this surname forward to my Dad. I have been thinking about them quite a lot and wondering how the story of our surname was lost, or was it purposely forgotten? In the layout a much younger me is ready to climb over the wall into the past seeking understanding of my grandfathers' lives. She is already starting her climb as if she cannot resist the pull.

Have you experienced this feeling? When did it start? 

Happy Scrapbook Sunday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!

Credit: Elements in layout are from "Flying Dreams, A Storybook Collection" kit copyright 2009 by Lorie Davison of scrapbookgraphics.com


  1. That's a great picture, it's a perfect way to showcase what you are experiencing. I haven't thought of bringing the ancestors in to a photo like that. I love it!

    1. Susie, It might not be perfect, but it's mine. :) Thanks for stopping by! Jennifer

  2. I just found your blog today, and look forward to learning more about the search process. I love the incorporation of old & new using digital scrap booking. This may solve my problem of how to share what I'm finding with my family, thanks!

    1. Hi Lissa, It sure is hard to share our fun finds with our family members. Hopefully scrapbooking makes it more appealing, after all everyone likes to look at pictures....don't they? Jennifer

  3. I think I have always been fascinated with stories about my ancestors, particularly my maternal grandfather's family. Like you said, everyone likes to look at pictures, and that's what first pulled me in. As a pre-teen and teenager I would pull out the box of OLD family photos and study them, memorize them and wonder about the people in the photos.

    As an adult the wonder became a full-on need-to-know that pulled me into genealogy and it's brought about some amazing, wonderful finds and discoveries. I've solved a lot of old family mysteries, dis-proved a few family legends and uncovered unknown relatives in my own back yard.

    The need to know has grown to the point where I even researched a group of photos from the late 1800s and early 1900s of people not related to me that were left behind after an aunt died. I researched these people until I located a relative in another state (who happened to be a fellow geneaology nut) and gave the photos to him - because I knew how beautiful these photos were and how much I'd want them if they were my relatives.

    A lot of times when I talk genealogy, my family gets that glazed "Oh no, she's talking about dead people again" look.... but it's a subject I am passionate about and think there must have been a geneaology gene stuck deep inside of me at birth. It's just part of who I am.

    1. Wow, Lanza, I am blow away by your thoughtful comment. You should do a blog post about your genealogy journey. I took a peak at your blog, love the 1970s area bike, btw, think I had the same one. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures.


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