Quotes About Family History

Quotes tagged as "family-history" (showing 1-28 of 28)
Gillian Flynn
“The actual stuff my family owned, those boxes under my stairs, I can't quite bear to look at. I like other people's things better. They come with other people's history.”
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places

“My family tree has many branches, both living and dead... but all equally important. I cherish the memories that make its roots run deep.”
Lynda I Fisher

Ellen Goodman
“..what the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we lived. In the end, it's the family stories that are worth the storage.”
Ellen Goodman

Alex Morritt
“How many of your contemporaries - when asked the question 'Are you glad you had kids'? - invariably respond 'Yes, but..'?”
Alex Morritt, Impromptu Scribe
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Linda Weaver Clarke
“It’s important to teach our children their heritage. Who are your ancestors? What were their traditions? Each of us has a story to tell. If these stories are unwritten, then how are your children going to know of their parentage?”
Linda Weaver Clarke

J.R. Ward
“There was something about the people you grew up around, the ones you'd seen throughout your childhood, the folks you couldn't remember not knowing. Even if the past was a complicated mess, as you aged, you were just glad the sons of bitches were still on the planet.

It gave you the illusion that life wasn't as fragile as it actually was--and on occasion, that was the only thing that got you through the night.”
J.R. Ward, Lover at Last

Richard Llewellyn
“I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me, those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our fathers, and in front, to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond.

And their eyes were my eyes.

As I felt, so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever. Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no beginning, and no end, and the hand of his father grasped my father's hand, and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand, and all, up and down the line stretched from Time That Was, to Time That Is, and is not yet, raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man, had in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the eternal Father.

I was one of them, they were of me, and in me, and I in all of them.”
Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley

Sol Luckman
“With the sensation that he was passing through the Looking-Glass, Max stared at his father as if he had never seen him before—simultaneously impressed and unnerved at the thought that, after all these years, he still knew so little about him.”
Sol Luckman, Snooze: A Story of Awakening

“Who we are takes generations to create and doesn’t end with death.”
Stanley Siegel

Daniel Mendelsohn
“At night, I think about these things. I'm pleased with what I know, but now I think much more about everything I could have known, which was so much more than anything I can learn now and which now is gone forever.”
Daniel Mendelsohn, The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million

Michele Huey
“Roots are, I’m learning, as important as wings.”
Michele Huey

Julene Bair
“To have deep roots in a place means having dead buried there. It is almost that literal, the dead forming your bond to the earth and to the others whose dead lie buried there. I always had that bond whether I knew it or not.”
Julene Bair, The Ogallala Road: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning

T.I. Wade
“An overnight success is usally twenty years in the making!”
T.I. Wade, Banking, Beer & Robert the Bruce

Mignon McLaughlin
“Family quarrels have a total bitterness unmatched by others. Yet it sometimes happens that they also have a kind of tang, a pleasantness beneath the unpleasantness, based on the tacit understanding that this is not for keeps; that any limb you climb out on will still be there later for you to climb back.”
Mignon McLaughlin, The Complete Neurotic's Notebook

“You mustn’t throw them away. Let me have them.”
Diane Samuels, Kindertransport: A Drama

“A person in search of his ancestors naturally likes to believe the best of them, and the best in terms of contemporary standards. Where genealogical facts are few, and these located in the remote past, reconstruction of family history is often more imaginative than correct.”
James G. Leyburn, The Scotch-Irish: A Social History

“Whatever it is that you think you have discovered. You must forget it.
Diane Samuels, Kindertransport: A Drama

Wendy Percival
“It was frustrating and exhausting to gather bits of disconnected information without understanding how it all fitted together.”
Wendy Percival, The Indelible Stain

Heather McVea
“I miss the days of burning your kind at the stake. For generations we have settled for financial ruin and ostracization of your whorish ancestors - but know this, I will personally gut you and put your head on a pike in my parlor.”
Heather McVea, Fallen Elements

Sol Luckman
“The scene sucker-punched Max. He never saw it coming. It encapsulated in one poignant instant the tragic beauty of his family history.”
Sol Luckman, Snooze: A Story of Awakening

“On the street below, the weather is calm. But up here, high winds threaten to topple the workers. A sudden gust can knock them from their footing with its sheer force or send a fatal vibration through the beams on which they stand. And yet the men joke, laugh, stroll across the foot-wide beams as though they are on solid ground. To the people on the sidewalk, tiny as ants below, the skywalkers appear entirely unafraid. A hundred years ago, their grandfathers and great-grandfathers built the skyscrapers and bridges that surround them.”
David Weitzman

Edmund de Waal
“House-watching is an art. You have to develop a way of seeing how a building sits in its landscape or streetscape. You have to discover how much room it takes up in the world, how much of the world it displaces.”
Edmund de Waal

David Vann
“As if each of us might somehow have a blueprint. As if somewhere there's the shape of my life, and I had the chance to choose a few variations, but not far from the pattern.”
David Vann, Aquarium

Rachael Hanel
“Stories weren't just make believe, all Dr. Seuss and Mother Goose. I saw a circle: first life, then death. Spring, summer, fall, winter. Blue sky and storms and quilts of cold clouds occupy the same space but at different times. Memories and stories help you rebuild. Things most precious to you may be gone, lost to the wicked wind, but you remember what had been, and you move on.”
Rachael Hanel, We'll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravedigger's Daughter

Ian Frazier
“And soon all the people who had accompanied me through life would be gone, too, and then even the people who had known us, and no one would remain on earth who had ever seen us, and those descended from us perhaps would know stories about us, perhaps once in a while they would pass by buildings where where we had lived and they would mention that we had lived there. And then the stories would fade, and our graves would go untended, and no one would guess what it had been like to wake before dawn in our breath-warmed bedrooms as the radiators clanked and our wives and husbands and children slept. And we would move from the nearer regions of the dead who are remembered into the farther regions of he forgotten, an on past those, into a space as while and big as the sky replicated forever.”
Ian Frazier

Lauren Groff
“We need a mass of ancestors at our backs like a balast. Sometimes, we feel it's impossible to push into the future without such a weight behind us, without such heaviness to keep us steady, even if it is imaginary. And the more frightening the future is, the more complicated it seems to be, the more we steady ourselves with the past.”
Lauren Groff

Laurie Perez
“She opens the book. Each sheet has one or two antique photographs stuck with corner tabs. The images are neither black and white nor gray, but hold that brownish gold of time and exposure to air.

"This man is your great grandfather. Look at that face, Pedro. It is a mean mean face." He's standing in front of a wood pile, holding an axe. "I think he was only a teenager there, a long time before he met my mother. But look how handsome he was. And how mean."

It's funny the way she smiles when she talks about him. Saying he's mean has a perverse joy for her, as if she can stick her tongue out at him and his hands are tied so he can't slap her for doing it. She's right, though. There's no lingering smile, no potential for mirth in the burlap of his skin. I notice snow on the ground at his feet, but he's wearing a thin, unbuttoned shirt, showing no sign of cold.”
Laurie Perez, Torpor: Though the Heart Is Warm

“In our family histories, the frontier between fact and fiction is vague, especially in the record of events that took place before we were born, or when we were too young to record them accurately; there are few maps to these remote regions, and only the occasional sign to guide the explorer.”
Adam Sisman

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