Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sofia's Christening Gift

Today my beautiful little niece, Sofia, is being Christened. For her gift I made her a family tree.

It is not a traditional family tree in the genealogical sense; it's not just a paper chart. It is a shadow box displaying a tree made out of tiny green paper leaves and brown silk covered wires. It is a fan chart really and each leaf includes the name and dates of birth and death for all of her direct ancestors from her to her 3rd great grandparents.

It is not a very clear photo but below is a detail.

I hope that she will someday take an interest in her genealogy. Part of why I gained an interest in genealogy though, was because no one in my family had really handed me down any historical documents. My father's Cousin Ro had a known interest in genealogy and started her research in the 1970s. She told me things and shared her information with me when I asked. I have connected with many cousins who have shared their finds with me but when I started out I was pretty much starting from scratch. And really, I most enjoy the research and discovery aspect of family history. I've already done a lot of Sofie's research though.

I hope that, if nothing else, through this gift Sofie comes to understand that her existence is due to the existence of a lot of people who have come before her. She is the culmination of the hopes, dreams, struggles, and love of a lot of other people and that the only responsibility she has to them is to be herself.

To quote a snippet from one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite lyricist, Forever Young by Bob Dylan:

"...May you always know the truth
And see the LIGHT surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young..."