Family History Quotes

Quotes tagged as "family-history" (showing 1-30 of 46)
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

Kelly Thompson
“Destiny doesn't always come when it's convenient or when you think it should. It comes when you're ready, whether you know it or not.”
Kelly Thompson, The Girl Who Would Be King

Marilyn Manson
“My grandfather had been the ugliest, darkest, foulest, most depraved figure of my childhood, more beast than human, and I had grown up to be him, locked in the basement with my secrets as the rest of the family reveled in the petty and ordinary upstairs. Down there, I saw my black, ancient, ineluctable core exposed, like a crab forced out of its shell--dirty, vulnerable, and obscene. For the first time in my life, I was truly alone.”
Marilyn Manson, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell

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

“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

Richard L.  Ratliff
“I guess she was a life line
Sewing our family fabric together
From me to dad to her
Gave me a sense of continuity
Especially when my daughter was born
As she was slipping away”
Richard L. Ratliff

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

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

Holly Goldberg Sloan
“My dad takes most of the pictures in our family, and he makes scrapbooks. This means he gets to figure out what's important for us to remember...
I guess my mom could make a scrapbook, but she doesn't. And I could do it and so could my brothers, but then we would need extra pictures. Plus we're just kids and we don't have time for that.
I know the scrapbooks we'd make would be different from Dad's.
But the person who does the work gets to write the history.”
Holly Goldberg Sloan, Short

Laurence Overmire
“All of us are part of a beautiful pageantry of human experience. Let us make the most of this life in all we do.”
Laurence Overmire, A Revolutionary American Family: The McDonalds of Somerset County, New Jersey

Nicole Wedemeyer Miller
“Everyone has a story. Every story matters.”
Nicole Wedemeyer Miller

Laurence Overmire
“My charge, then, in putting down my pen, and giving over this work to posterity, is this: Take the time. Take the time to preserve the stories, the photographs, the small mementos that mean so much. This is your legacy to future generations. Give it the attention it deserves. Your children and your grandchildren will thank you for it.”
Laurence Overmire, One Immigrant's Legacy: The Overmyer Family in America, 1751-2009: A Biographical Record of Revolutionary War Veteran Capt. John George Overmire and His Descendants

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

“Pursuing a family history beyond a simple catalogue of names is always evidence of separation, of severing ties at least to the extent of holding one’s relations at arm’s length. The family member who want to make a private gift of a family tree to a close circle of relatives soon becomes the historian who estranges her antecedents by locating them “in history”. I found that family history, which humanizes those who might otherwise be mere faces in a crowd, also defamiliarized those closest to me, giving their lives a larger pattern than they had when they were lived. They became both more and less themselves. I consoled myself by thinking that this is what history does to us too. As we grow older we see not how unique our lives have been, but how representative we were and are; that we are part of the figure in the carpet woven by events, by chance and accident, and by the play of forces more powerful than us.”
Alison Light, Common People: The History of An English Family

William Maxwell
“The values and assumptions of that household I took in without knowing when or how it happened, and I have them to this day: The pleasure in sharing pleasure. The belief that is is only proper to help lame dogs to get over stiles and young men to put one foot on the bottom rung of the ladder. An impatient disregard for small sums of money. The belief that it is a sin against Nature to put sugar in one's tea. The preference for being home over being anywhere else. The belief that generous impulses should be acted on, whether you can afford to do this or not. The trust in premonitions and the knowledge of what is in wrapped packages. The willingness to go to any amount of trouble to make yourself comfortable. The tendency to take refuge in absolutes. The belief that you don't have to apologize for tears; that consoling words should never be withheld; that what somebody wants very much they should, if possible, have.”
William Maxwell, Ancestors: A Family History

William Maxwell
“You cannot go to the cemetery and ask to be enlightened on matters of this kind, though it would ease my mind considerably if you could.”
William Maxwell, Ancestors: A Family History

“It hit me then that my family is gone, really gone, and even though I have ll these kids, they'll never know my family, so in a way they'll never know me, because they don't know me with my family. I don't have a context for my children.”
Martha Moody, Best Friends

Karen Wardamasky Bobrow
“Japan surprised almost everyone but Marty with their attack on Pearl Harbor,”
Karen Wardamasky Bobrow, Do Svidanya Dad: Tracing the Story of an American Family Trapped in the USSR

Marc Ashton
“Suddenly, in my mind I hear my father say, 'Mind over matter, son. You can do this. You can accomplish anything as long as you really want to.”
Marc Ashton

Leela Corman
“My mother supported my every artistic ambition. I don't wonder why. I'm beyond grateful. But when I think of my grandparents barely surviving the war, I feel so pampered. What an indulgence to be an artist. So this is it, this is all I can offer, to the living and to the dead.”
Leela Corman, We All Wish For Deadly Force

“Telling our personal story constitutes an act of consciousness that defines the ethical lining of a person’s constitution. Recounting personal stories promotes personal growth, spurs the performance of selfless deeds, and in doing so enhances the ability of the equitable eye of humanity to scroll rearward and forward. Every person must become familiar with our communal history of struggle, loss, redemption, and meaningfully contemplate the meaning behind our personal existence in order to draft a proper and prosperous future for succeeding generations. Accordingly, every person is responsible for sharing their story using the language of thought that best expresses their sanguine reminiscences. Without a record of pastimes, we will never know what were, what we now are, or what we might become by steadfastly and honorably struggling with mortal chores.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“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

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

“When a writer is born into a family, Czesław Miłosz once famously said, the family is finished. You could forget about having any more secrets. You could forget about hiding what you didn’t want others to know. You were going to be exposed, hung out to air, and by a traitor from within. But later I wondered, Is it the family that’s really finished or simply the writer’s place within it? Could a family still be a family with parts missing?”
Judith Freeman, The Latter Days: A Memoir

Robin Sacredfire
“Most people believe that sharing the same flesh and blood, the same basic DNA structure, makes them your family. How sad that is. Because, you see, as a spiritual person, I believe you must deserve a family, not just own it. If those that are my family, don't behave as such, they are not my family. If I have chosen them before I was born, I have been betrayed. I owe them nothing, in this or the many lives to come. In fact, if they betray me in this life, they will return as my enemies in the next. And their karma will make me victorious in that future confrontation.”
Robin Sacredfire

Laurence Overmire
“Ultimately, the great truths of family history don't live in any book. They live in the hearts and minds of the living descendants. They live in the way we conduct our lives, in the passing of traditions and values to those who will follow.”
Laurence Overmire, A Revolutionary American Family: The McDonalds of Somerset County, New Jersey

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

“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

Arundhati Roy
“....though he hated to admit it, they were all Anglophiles. They were a family of Anglophiles. Pointed in the wrong direction, trapped outside their own history and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away. He explained to them that history was like an old house at night. With all the lamps lit. And ancestors whispering inside.

'To understand history,' Chacko said, 'we have to go inside and listen to what they're saying. And look at the books and the pictures on the wall. And smell the smells.'...

...'But we can't go in,' Chacko explained, 'because we've been locked out. And when we look in through the windows, all we see are shadows. And when we try and listen, all we hear is a whispering. And we cannot understand the whispering, because our minds have been invaded by war. A war that we have won and lost. The very worst sort of war. A war that captures dreams and re-dreams them. A war that has made us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy
“....though he hated to admit it, they were all Anglophiles. They were a family of Anglophiles. Pointed in the wrong direction, trapped outside their own history and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away. He explained to them that history was like an old house at night. With all the lamps lit. And ancestors whispering inside.

"To understand history," Chacko said, "we have to go inside and listen to what they're saying. And look at the books and the pictures on the wall. And smell the smells."...

..."But we can't go in," Chacko explained, "because we've been locked out. And when we look in through the windows, all we see are shadows. And when we try and listen, all we hear is a whispering. And we cannot understand the whispering, because our minds have been invaded by war. A war that we have won and lost. The very worst sort of war. A war that captures dreams and re-dreams them. A war that has made us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves.”
Arundhati Roy

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