The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 20 - 12/18/2000
What have YOU done to trace your family history?
Find any skeletons in the old family closet? What soer of family stories are you documenting for your children? Is your coven Tradition (tradition) continuing to compile the history of your belief system? Do you think that we living in an historical moment in Pagan history? Are there steps that we should take today in order to preserve the history of these times for posterity?
| Reponses: There are 11 responses posted to this question.
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| I Have Asked Parents And Grandparents And Other Relatives About My Family... ||Dec 26th. at 9:15:22 am EST|
|Scott Matte (Mooresville, North Carolina US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I have asked parents and grandparents and other relatives about my family. I have found an article relating to a relative who was the only man from Iowa present at hte Ford theater during Lincoln's assassination, and, I've found a link to a huge current celebrity ( name ommited for protection). I think the historical moment was when Gardner came forth with modern Wicca, which allowed alot of us to look at a direction that was not an option 60 years ago. Also, it allowed those of us who have a family history of paganism, to have a newfound confidence in our own spirituality and not have to be afraid to express it.
| It's Not Hard To Trace My Family History. I Have Been Blessed... ||Dec 26th. at 9:05:59 am EST|
|Ariadne Jarnsaxa (Norfolk, Virginia US) ||Age: 33 |
It's not hard to trace my family history. I have been blessed with a family that documents everything and never throws it away. We literally can trace our history back a few hundred years. On the magicikal side of the house, for many, many years, at the age of 13 you had to memorize a list of names and years in order to preserve the history of whom had practiced and when. Luckily, these days, the list is copied from parent to child and so on. My great-aunt(who is 92) can't believe the "believers" of today. We wear symbols freely, we openly purchase items for rituals, we have open rituals, and we are very vocal about our religion. We do live in an historical time for us, for the first time we are able to be out and about and not hiding in attics, basements or 100 miles out in the middle of nowhere. I have started collecting articles and stories and such to save them for future generations. That is what has been lacking in our circles for so long, the written word, today's times are enabling us to establish a written history for our children to follow.
| There Are Many Good Reasons To Trace Your Family History. Practically Speaking... ||Dec 22nd. at 7:42:42 pm EST|
|TrueBlueGolde (Springfield) ||Age: 23 - Email |
There are many good reasons to trace your family history. Practically speaking, research into the family tree can help point to potential health problems, especially cancer. And of course, those who are adopted find family history invaluable, as a way to form an identity and to feel some inkling of familial ties. But aside from the practical advantages, it's great fun!! I, along with my mother, have been interested in geneaology for a long time and I have just recently pushed my family history past the 1700 mark. I even have direct
ancestors who lived in Jamestown---the first English settlement!!! It's truly fascinating in a way unique from all else.
| There Are Some Great Geneology Resources Out There, But They Can Only... ||Dec 21st. at 8:45:30 pm EST|
|Willow Polson (San Jose, California US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
There are some great geneology resources out there, but they can only get you so far. In my case, my mother was adopted so I've hit a brick wall. The one and only person that could open those records for me is well-known throughout the adoption community as a total bitch, and I've found this to be true in phone conversations with her. So she holds all the cards -- the medical history, the family history, all of it on my mother's side -- and she couldn't care less. On the bright side, I have been able to do a lot of research on the internet on my husband's family and my grandfather's line (my father's mother was adopted too but only because she was orphaned, so it's been a little easier). Some great sites to check out are www.gendex.com, www.familysearch.com (this is the church of LDS, or LSD as my hubby likes to call it), and usgenweb.org. These services are all free for users.
Both the groups/covens/circles I'm in are documenting our history, especially the Egyptian group since it's only about a year old and we can grab that as it evolves. I think that yes, we are living in a historical moment for Paganism, both because Wicca has only been around since the 1950s or so, and because this year is probably the first time I have seen a distincly positive turn in news articles about us, telling (more of) the truth than repeating the tired old lies because they require less research.
So my life has been a mix of recovering family history and creating new paths, as is probably the case for most reading this. Take a bunch of Celtic blood (primarily English and Irish), mix in a bit of Penn-Dutch, add in a hyperactive Gemini nature and you'll get a fiery little Witch with blue-grey eyes and entirely too many projects going at any given time. 8-) I can't wait to see what the future holds...
| There Is Very Little I Know About My Family Heritage. What I... ||Dec 21st. at 1:12:11 pm EST|
|Tanais (Auburn, Washington US) ||Age: 20 |
There is very little I know about my family heritage. What I have found I've only been able to trace back to the 1600s and even that I'm beginning to question about the accuracy. I am proud of my family. My Grandfather was a lawyer in Alaska that helped in making Alaska the 49th state. He was also a soldier at Guadalcanal in WWII. He died before I ever met him so I can only guess what type of guy he was. My Grandma re-married to one of the origional workers on the Alaska Pipeline. My mom was in the big 1960s quake. My family history has much to do with Alaska. I myself am a 3rd generation Alaskan. I learned a few years ago a distant relative also founded a University in Ohio. Kenyon College I believe. I have a lot to be proud of as far as my family tree is concerned
| I Have Tried To Trace My Family History But To No Avail... ||Dec 21st. at 9:21:51 am EST|
|Kathleen Garber (Windosr, Ontario CA) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I have tried to trace my family history but to no avail. I have searched the internet for Garbers but I can't find anybody. If there are any Garbers out there, please contact me, but I doubt it. I have scoured over old pictures and books but most people are dead or far away so I can't even trace them. I am also trying to find out more about MacKeands, but to no avail, even worse than Garber.
| I Have Not Been Able To Find Out Alot About My Family... ||Dec 21st. at 12:39:24 am EST|
|daiabnncya (mindenmines, Missouri US) ||Age: 48 |
I have not been able to find out alot about my family(indians did not keep written records)but I have a WONDERFUL story about my grandfather, when I was told, at school, there is no Santa Claus, I went home in tears and grandfather told me that Santa lives in your heart-maybe he isn't the jolly fat man in the sleigh, but he is certainly the joy and spirit of christmas!That has been the best gift I ever received and I STILL BELIEVE IN SANTA!THANK YOU GRANDFATHER!!
| I Have Done Quite A Bit Of Tracing On My Family History... ||Dec 19th. at 8:13:55 am EST|
|Michael (Dublin, European Union, Ireland) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I have done quite a bit of tracing on my family history and while there are a few interesting points, there are certainly no pagan connections I am aware of.
The most exciting events my family can claim to have participated are the English Civil war of the 1600's (which they won). The American Revolution, where they fought the Americans (which they lost).
There are no direct family members that I am aware of who fought in either World war, except for a distanced relation who was in the Royal Air Force.
that's it... that I know of. The IRA destroyed most of the public records in the beginning of the century, so this has made it more difficult to trace your family history.. with the exception of parish records.
Ah well, merry christmas/Yule
| My Father Loves To Tell Stories About Our Family, The Kerrs, And... ||Dec 18th. at 1:19:28 pm EST|
|Candle Ogham (Sacile, Italy) ||Age: 22 - Email |
My father loves to tell stories about our family, the Kerrs, and I love to hear them. The Kerrs are from Scotland, and there's speculation that we may have come from Nordic lands before that! My mother's side of the family, the Daws, are from England. My husband's family is from Finland and Russia. Our daughters have a colorful background! Our family tradition tries to combine our heritages into a huge melting pot. We both enjoy researching traditions from our cultures as well as the Italian culture all around us.
Are we living in a historical moment in Pagan history? Definatly. Everyday, there is evidence that we are making ourselves known to people, in a good way or in a bad way, but all "new" thoughts are startling to society at first. I feel that people are starting to see that we're not a phase like bell bottoms and leg warmers. They're starting to realize that we're serious about what we believe. I personally love the time we're living in, despite everything, and I look forward to helping make it a better place for my girls.
Any other Kerrs out there? Email me and share what you know! :)
| As A Solitaire With A Large, Warm, Loving Italian Catholic Family, I... ||Dec 18th. at 9:51:08 am EST|
|Bethy (Staten Island, New York US) ||Age: 33 - Email |
As a solitaire with a large, warm, loving Italian Catholic family, I know that i'll have many stories to tell of my family, though they aren't neccesarily 'pagan' per se, they are still a part of my heritage, and will be a part of my children's heritage.
One story I will definitely tell I want to share here. My beloved grandmother recently passed away, but had the tradition of always using Bell's seasoning in her holiday turkey stuffing. Why? Once, when she was food shopping with a number of children (she had eight in all), she was locked out of her car in the A&P parking lot. The Bell's Seasoning salesman helped her get into her car. When she asked what she could do for him, he simply said to buy Bell's Seasoning. So she did. That one act of kindness generated over fifty years of sales, and my mother uses Bell's Seasoning, and so do I!
This is an example of family stories, but as far as pagan stories and traditions, I'm trying to figure that out as best as I can. I want to raise my children in this tradition. As a mostly solitaire, I don't really have a coven history, though I can certainly tell stories of my first circles.
I would think that individuals could write these stories in their private BOS or journal, and share them at appropriate times, such as the tale of their own coming of age or first blood when their child or other close person was going through the same time. I do think that our history should be preserved, even if only in our hearts and through scrapbooks and journals.
| The Written Or Electronic Word Has Power - And For The Neopagan Community... ||Dec 18th. at 2:29:00 am EST|
|Trish Telesco (Western, New York US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
The written or electronic word has power - and for the neopagan community it is a way to begin showing where we have been as a people, and where we hope to go in the fututre. Laying foundations includes documenting our history in it's making. We are finally growing up as a religious group, but still have a long way to go for acceptance and respect. Creating "traditions", honoring traditions, and knowing our roots will go a long way to helping make that happen. It will also help educate the public about what it means to be a neopagan in today's world vs. the rather steriotypic portraits filled with either ancient rhetoric or post-hippie wannabes. I do believe we are living in important times where, since the public is interested in what we're doing, we have a chance to show ourselves as serious, professional, and a powerful force for positive change should we wish. The key is to "cease the day" responsibly and really think about the foundations we're building. Are they sound? Will they allow for flexibility as our world (and our spirits) change? Are they tolerant without being wishy washy? Do they succumb to dogma or are they living, vital traditions with meaning? To me, these are questions we should ask ourselves every day.. every time we cast a spell, every time we work ritual, every time we pray so that eventually our beliefs will be part of the yellowpages too!
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