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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Honoring Our Shelby County Ancestors

Ways to Honor Our Ancestors

It is about that time of the year when we think about our family members who are no longer with us. With Memorial Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in the near future, we wish we could find a way to remember them in a special way.

If you have ancestors in a distant county or state, it can be a challenge to find the time or a way to leave flowers on a loved one’s grave. We aren’t all able to travel to Shelby County to the beautiful cemeteries for each special occasion to leave a memorial.

I've learned some other ways to honor my ancestors -- although I do leave flowers whenever I get back to Shelby County. Unfortunately, I have so many deceased ancestors, I could fill my car with flowers and drive from cemetery to cemetery and probably never get all the flowers delivered in my brief visits.

Here are several different ways to honor your ancestors. Ways that they would appreciate. Ways that will make you feel good that you took the time to remember them.

Make a donation to honor them. Remember, ANY dollar amount is appreciated!

* The Shelbyville Genealogy Division of the Shelbyville Public Library needs donations. Send a check of any amount in your ancestors’ name and thank the staff for their excellent work. Their address is: 58 West Hendricks St. Shelbyville, Indiana 46176

* Make a donation to the restored Strand Theatre. Send a check of any amount, tell them you are honoring a family member. The Strand has become a true community center. Talk about bringing the past back to life! It is happening here every week. The Strand’s address is: 215 S. Harrison St. Shelbyville, Indiana 46176

*Join the Shelby County Genealogical Society.
This is a wonderful organization, working hard to put together historic books about the county. With each paid membership, a subscription to Fore Bear Pa's comes to your mailbox. It has many interesting old newspaper articles, photos, births, deaths -- all focused on Shelby Co. The membership fee is $15.00 a year. Their address is: P.O. Box 434, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176.

*Contact your ancestor’s church and request information on making a donation in their honor. Ask how to donate flowers for the alter to honor them on a special day.

*Share your genealogy!!! This will insure your ancestor’s place in immortality. There are many ways to share your genealogy. I will admit, I am donating ALL of my research and books to the Shelbyville “Genie House”. But, if your ancestors were in other counties, you might decide to donate your research elsewhere. The Indiana State Library has a HUGE section of family files, and I’m sure the Ft. Wayne Library must, too. Be generous with your research and help other family members get to know their ancestors. Be sure that you give yourself credit and copyright your work.

* Write a blog. Tell the world about your experiences with genealogy. Share your stories of joy when you make a big connection. Share your sorrow when the family legend about a sad event is discovered to be true. Let the world know you have a big wonderful family, in spite of a rotten apple or two (if you've found any!). Let the world know how proud you are of all of your ancestors.

As a final suggestion I would like YOUR suggestions about how you honor your ancestors. Please email me and I will add a second installment to this chapter. I KNOW there are many other family traditions that are observed, so please share them.

Our ancestors lived in hard times. They lived without all of the advantages we have today. Many of them fought in wars to defend our future rights and to make the world a better, safer place for us. We should honor them each and every day. We wouldn’t be here without them!