I learned an important lesson recently of the value in sharing stories across the family branches. Most often, we only know the history of our own branch of the tree and that can be a challenge when painting a whole picture, especially when documentation is difficult to come by.
I am pretty good at discovery, but even I need to know [of the possibility ] that something exists so I can find it. Otherwise, I don’t look for it and will probably miss it, even though it might be right in front of my eyes.
All too often, we look for things that we expect to find. It is a form of judgement, which the Ancestors continually warn me about. Expectations paint a false picture. So look for the unexpected… the multiple marriages, children before weddings, those that chose not to marry, adoptions, early childhood deaths… The possibilities of the unexpected are endless.
Tell your family stories. Tell them often. Be proud of EVERYTHING your Ancestors did… the good and not so good. Shadows are important. Contrast gives the picture dimension. Otherwise, it is just flat and boring.