Years ago I read a story to my class about a young boy who was especially close to his grandmother. He loved to sit by her while she told family stories. The story concluded with the grandmother revealing to her grandson that he was there family’s keeper. While reading that story I realized that I was my family’s keeper and had been for a very long time.
A family keeper is usually a person in the family who:
-Keeps up with all the activities of their inner and outer family circles.
-Archives and maintains important family documents and artifacts (such as apparel, medals, pictures
, jewelry, etc…).
-Creates opportunities for family get togethers and reunions.
Every generation has one if your family is fortunate. Keepers pass down the collective history and help maintain a family’s story. Keepers do not necessarily have to do all these things. They may specialize in one area. While you may have an aunt or an uncle that keeps up with all of these things, most likely there will be a collection of relatives interested in the areas of family preservation that appeals to them. For instance I love to scrapbook family occasions, trace our family tree, maintain the family seat, and travel to visit extended family. I notice that my daughter has no interest in keeping up with family items or document, but she is in constant communication with all the elderly members of our extended family.
There is room for everyone at the keeper table. As a matter of fact, the more people involved in keeping the family history, the better the chance of that history surviving. Wars, family emergencies, job relocation, and tragedy can interrupt the family history at any time. Having many Keepers who communicate with each other is your best bet to insure the survival of your family’s story.
Please see the following links to articles on this sight about why keeping a family history is important.
ENGAGING CHILDREN IN THEIR FUTURE!
LINKING CHILDREN TO THEIR PRESENT!
ANCHORING CHILDREN TO THEIR PAST!