My ancestors were all what might be termed “ordinary people”, none achieved great heights of achievement other than to work hard, raise their children well and engage with their communities.
It’s not that I have the Australian distrust of “Tall Poppies“, simply that my research means that I’d be shocked if I’d found a field of poppies in my family tree. As you know I’ve been sharing quotes from the Brainy Quote website with most of my posts but today’s search was both disappointing and depressing, offering mainly dismissive concepts of any community’s grassroots people apart from only a couple I endorsed. Instead I’m going to indulge myself and add a quote from the Acknowledgments to my own family history, Grassroots Queenslanders: the Kunkel Family.
There are two ways to look at a family tree, as genealogy (the begets or begats of the Bible), or as the story of families living in a particular period of time and experiencing all the challenges of the period, influencing their family life and outcomes, just as they play their individual or family role on the greater stage of history. The names of the so-called “little people” are rarely recorded in the history books but they are the cannon fodder of wars, the workers who build a nation, and its railways, the families who make up its people.
So let me introduce you to my ancestors, those “Ordinary People” whose lives led progressively to my own.
You can see why this quote resonates with me and why I write this blog:
I want to keep telling stories of ordinary people. Margot Lee Shetterly, author
Do you descend from a line of “Ordinary People” or do you have “Tall Poppies” in your family forest?
Do you love telling the stories of your ancestors?