Not Your Typical Milestone!
Whilst the photograph above is not a typical milestone, it does indicate the distance to the places but not by road. It is situated as you may have gathered beside the Montgomery Canal in Shropshire.
Typically, family historians, record major events in their families, such as births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials, they also compile information about occupations and military service details.
Family historians however want to do more than record dates and places.
To truly understand our roots we need to be able to put ourselves in their shoes. Many of those who live in the United Kingdom or have roots in these countries will have ancestors who were employed by others as servants, agricultural workers or in cottage industries or more recently factory workers. Some of the occupations of yesteryear no longer exist or have altered due to the introduction of machines, this makes it much more difficult to visualise what life must have been like for them.
Major historical events have always influenced the way people live, wars may have both a direct and indirect effect on the population and the generations to follow.
If you are recording your family history consider carefully what you want to record. That story that your aunt told you may not be entirely true but by recording it you are reflecting how someone perceived a moment in time. Our perceptions and feelings are going to be as important as the facts to our descendants. We may have the advantages of photographs and videos to pass on our memories but will our descendants be any clearer about how we perceived our lives.
Start with your oldest living relative and ask them to tell you in whichever way they wish to describe the milestones in their life.
What do they remember?
Do they have any photographs or other items that trigger memories for them?
Do the same for everyone in your family?
If you are fortunate enough to have a family get together, then get out the photographs, along with pencils or pens and small notelets, and ask everyone to write down anything they associate with a photograph or just who is in the photograph and when it was taken.
Provide envelopes so that the notes can be kept with the photographs and then get digital images of the photographs & notes, or type up the notes and attach to the photograph.
Each memory is a milestone in the life of someone and can point us in the right direction to understand who they are or were.
Collect and Share your memories and bring a smile to someone's face.