Today, September 27, is Ancestor Appreciation Day! Ancestor Appreciation Day is a day for learning about and honoring your family’s ancestors.
Ancestor Appreciation Day is celebrated each year on September 27. The observance of this day gives us the chance to reflect on our ancestors, learn more about them and the ways in which they influenced each of our lives. Many of us in the hustle and bustle of everyday life have never taken the time to fully understand and appreciate our extended families. Traditions are forgotten and the link between the generations slowly fades away until it is nothing more than a whispered notion. Many times it is expressed almost embarrassingly at family gatherings such as a wedding or funeral when out of obligation more than anything ancestral links bring us together with family that feel more like strangers.
In the thread of time and events most of our ancestors lived common lives. Filled with the struggles of everyday life it might be easy to conclude that they do not have much of a story to tell. Ah but nothing could be further from the truth and that is where Ancestor Appreciation Day can give us new insight into those who came before us. If we will but take this little known and often neglected holiday to heart we can learn of the many fascinating and colorful individuals who make up our past.
Knowledge of ones family history can give a sense of purpose and provide stability and comfort in our own lives. We are but one small part in the vast expansion of time an space and at times feel insignificant and over whelmed. This is becoming a more prevalent feeling and is do in part to our lack of knowledge of who are ancestors really were. But when we can see the connection between ourselves and our ancestors we can than begin to gain a sense of purpose. The chance to learn our ancestral history slips away with each passing generation if we do not take the time to listen and learn from those that came before us. The observance of Ancestor Appreciation Day is a time to not only learn about our past but can also be used to preserve such history in written, recorded or video form.
Take advantage of Ancestor Appreciation Day to remember your ancestors, the good and bad, the success’s and failures of those who came before you. Undoubtedly you will be surprised by some of the things you discover and will gain a better understanding of who you are.
The Palmer Room, located on the 4th level of the Kingsport Library, has a great selection of local and regional histories, family histories and genealogy research materials that can get you started on learning about your ancestors.
Resources available in the Palmer Room:
• Handbooks (materials for beginners)
• Family histories
• City Directories and Telephone Books
• Digital photographs of tombstones in area cemeteries
• Marriage and death record indexes
• Census microfilm
• Microfilm readers with printers
• Everton’s Genealogical Helper and other magazines
• Maps (local, regional, Tennessee and Virginia)
• Newspaper microfilm (1916 to present)
• Computer access to thousands of genealogy Web sites
• Ancestry Plus Online (only available on the library’s computers)
• Heritage Quest (available online remotely with your library card)
• War of the Rebellion (129 volumes with index)
• Rosters of confederate and Union Soldiers
• Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files (online)
• Freedman’s Bank records (online)
• Virginia Military Records