Friday, January 9, 2015

116 and Still Going Strong!

My sister is always making fun of my affection for "old".  I like old books, furniture, stories, clothes.  When we were kids, and we visited the cemetery on Sundays, my sister would sit in the car and pout, and I would wander around reading the grave markers.  I guess I knew, even then, that genealogy would be in my future.  This addiction isn't limited to my own family history research, but to the study of digging into our roots in general.  So it should come as no surprise that whenever something crosses my line of vision that has the words, "old" or "oldest" in the title, I take notice.

Not very long ago there was an article in Charleston's Post and Courier (8 July 2014) about a woman who was about to turn 116 years-old.

This interested me because my grandmothers died in 1984 and 1985, and if they were alive today, they would be 115 and 116.  It started me thinking about how different my life might have been had I been blessed with the gift of having them around all this time.  That would have been thirty more years of their influence and wisdom, not to mention the fact that they would have been around when I started all this genealogy research, and the information and memories they could have shared would have been priceless.  Of course, I would only wish this on them (and my family) if my grandmothers had been blessed with the relative good health and the sharp mind of our Mrs. Weaver (see above).

Somewhere recently I heard a doctor, who was an expert in using genetics to cure disease, say that there are people alive today that could easily live until the age of 150.  Wow!  That is an amazing idea to contemplate.  When my first descendants emigrated to Canada from France in 1644, the average life expectancy was about thirty-five (if you were lucky).  We've come a long way.

Which brings me to the point of this post - the elders in our families have stories to tell, and in most cases, would love a chance to relate them.  Don't miss the opportunity to talk with them, record their stories, ask questions, and make this an integral part of your family history.  They can't all live to be 116!

-- Submitted by Denise Doyon

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