"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 13 September 2001

“In Memory”

How many of our fellow Americans are considering those very words? We have experienced an “Attack on America” that will be remembered for more than being “a day in infamy.”

We recover, we mourn, we remember!

In the coming months great memorials will be built to remember those who have died in this Attack on America. Communities will gather around the memorials and pledge never to forget!

What can you do? The call has gone out for blood and donations to the American Red Cross. You can also begin the process of remembering these courageous heroes in your family history. This tragedy will touch the lives and families of every American home. It will become more than the horrors on the television and radio.

Obituaries are often the only documentation an individual's existence besides a death certificate or a scattered paper trail. They are a record of an individual’s family and achievements.

Where to begin? Regretfully, many American families will be struggling to write obituaries and they may not remember dates of birth, employment, or retirement. They might not know spellings of individuals' names, places, companies or organizations. They might not know all of the deceased's memberships to volunteer organizations and community clubs.

Obituaries have two purposes: to notify friends, family and colleagues of the death and to give specific details regarding the funeral or memorial service.

When sitting down to write an obituary, take the following into consideration: (1) full legal name of deceased (nicknames in quotes); (2) full date and place of birth; (3) full date and place of death; (4) full names of parents, including mother’s maiden name; (5) full name of spouse, date and place of marriage; (6) names of children; (7) names of grandchildren; (8) full names of brothers and sisters; (9) place of employment and number of years; (10) affiliations, i.e., professional, clubs, volunteer groups, fraternal etc.; (11) military service; (12) educational accomplishments; (13) religious membership; (14) miscellaneous, hobbies, other interests; (15) funeral or memorial service and burial information; (16) donations or tributes; and, (17) funeral home.

A unique website, ObitNow.com http://www.obitnow.com/ allows you to create and write obituaries on-line.

Many Americans are asking how can we help? If you know someone who has lost a friend or family member during the recent Attack on America, invite the person to share his or her experiences. When we invited someone to talk about the tragic loss of a family member, it will be hard but beneficial to the person. It will allow them to know that we care and want to be supportive.

Let them know everyone grieves differently and whatever they are feeling is okay. Try to listen without trying to solve the problem or offer suggestions. Grieving people want to be heard without being given constant advice. Mostly, you can be helpful by being patient and listening to their heartfelt words and stories about their tragic loss because every American is grieving.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 8 Nov 2001 and was last revised on __________

Copyright © 1999, 2001 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604