Have been corresponding with a few via email recently. A comment made was “such tragic stories sometimes.” Yes, I’m sure many of our ancestors experienced hardships and tragedies, but I’m not certain that was the theme of their lives. I thought about this the past week or so–I know there were many joys in my ancestor’s lives–marriages, births, celebrations, satisfaction gained from a job well done, hobbies, and achievements. I also know there were times they just let their hair down and laughed themselves silly.

While investigating our ancestor’s lives, it seemed to me that we do so primarily through documents that provide us facts such as birthdates and death dates. Sometimes those documents or pieces of information — for example, death certificates — provide us a glimpse into information that must not be easy to know or makes us sad. I know I’ve seen examples where a mother died in childbirth or in the case the St. Anthony’s train wreck, my heart seemed to break to learn that information. It occurred to me that other than marriage records or baptismal records, many of the records we find about our ancestors often brings sad news.

So, my question: Have you any stories of joy or happiness in your ancestor’s lives? Are there any times in their lives where you can see them smile or laugh?

Here’s a photo of my aunt, Celia with her sister-in-law, Helen, playing like children with a tricycle and baby doll carriage. I don’t have a date, but I do recognize that yard!

Celia Mierzejewski Starzynski and Helen Ceglarska Mierzejewski

Celia Mierzejewski Starzynski and Helen Ceglarska Mierzejewski — being playful

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