None Knew Them But to Praise

None Knew Them But to Praise

The generation of my grandparents is rightfully known as The Greatest Generation. They have been so identified because of their sacrifices and contributions during the years of the Great Depression and World War II. We likewise are free with our praise of the Pioneer Generation, those pre-and-post Civil War era ancestors who conquered the West We marvel as well over the Generation of Emigrants who crossed oceans and continents around the turn of the 20th century. In greater measure, we identify our Pilgrim and Puritan ancestors of the Great Migration generations of the 1600s. But as I continue to workClick to continue…

A Fitting Memorial for Grandpa

A Fitting Memorial for Grandpa

Memorial Day. A day argued by many that is lost to some in meaning. Many mark it as an extra day off — a day of barbeques, a first summer swim in a lake or a chance to get away. It began as Decoration Day, an event to decorate the graves of the fallen from the North and the South during the Civil War. It is a day specifically set aside to recognize those who died in the service of country. Indeed, my own marking of the day has wandered over the years. These days I make my way upClick to continue…

The Beauty of the Little Details

The Beauty of the Little Details

Recently I have had the chance to connect with more of my Begich cousins. It has been wonderful. In conversing with one via email this week I asked some questions about my great Grandpa Mike Begich, who immigrated to the United States around 1905. He lived from 1886 to 1965. In my lifetime I’ve heard so very little personal detail about him. So little details like this from my cousin this week are very meaningful to me: “As an 8-year-old, I used to visit and stay over with my grandparents fairly often. Grandpa would always let me rummage through hisClick to continue…

Moms of Our Ancestral Past

Moms of Our Ancestral Past

In the work of family history it is the story of the women that are always tough to find. It has been a man’s world for a long time and records for women are scarce. Yet when you get past the raw data of names, places and dates what frequently survives are stories and those stories more often than not feature more women than men. I think this is true because as humans we tend to remember and honor mothers first. That is to take nothing away from our fathers or other great men in our lives. But Mother naturallyClick to continue…

A Trip to Minnesota

A Trip to Minnesota

It hasn’t even been a week since we received word that Aunt Alice passed away. Last Sunday Bunni posted on Facebook in a message broadcast to family and loved ones far and wide that at the age of 91 Alice had gone home to be with Pete. Very quickly my Dad and my brother and I exchanged messages to each other. “We have to go,” Jay said. We all felt that way. Alice is the wife of my Uncle Peter Begich, my Grandpa Carl’s big brother. You know the story of Grandpa Carl and hopefully you know the story ofClick to continue…