11:30 AM

Genealogy Provides the Strength to Persevere


As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps over this nation, I’ve been thinking about how genealogy provides context to our suffering, and the strength to persevere.

Since the coronavirus outbreak hit my state last month, I’ve been asking genealogists how their hobby is shaping this particular moment, and hearing their family stories about the polio epidemic, the Spanish flu, smallpox, tuberculosis, and war. They talk about who died and what they left behind. They talk about how the survivors handled these tragedies, and how the legacy of these moments was passed down – in journals and tape recordings, in lasting anxiety and trauma, in children named after the dead.