savinghistory

The story is usually bigger than we know

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2012 at 9:27 AM

On a recent episode of the History Detectives the historian researched a picture frame heirloom for a pair of cousins. Her understanding of the pieces background was that it was a piece of wood from the Lusitania wreckage found by her great-grandfather during his service in the Merchant Marines in Halifax. The other cousin believed the wreckage was actually the Titanic. Enter the History Detectives! After contacting a dendrologist to determine the origin of the wood, and several other experts of varying stripes, long story short, the wood was determined to have come from the main banister of the Titanic. In their research they found another woman with a similar piece but more important a photo of her own great-grandfather and the cousins great-grandfather; they served together and were there that fateful day to recover bodies from the Titanic. The research further revealed a third Merchant Marine who actually carved both pieces (and several other housed in various museums). Amazing!
Our stories are unique and each of our family histories is filled with tiny bits of information that further research can expand into remarkable historic narratives. We all have dozens (if not hundreds) of photo’s with unknown people, places, or things. We look at our distant relatives and wonder who those people are they are posing with! The greater the gap between the original date and today the greater the research challenge…but we can certainly do better today. When you take a picture be sure to tag it, describe it, list the who, what, when, why, where, and how. You think you’ll remember but you won’t and someday you will be here to recall. Remember, history is a collection of stories…and your story is priceless!
Saving History

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