10    Aug 20101 comment

Family Proverbs (Part 1)

A number of famous and historical individuals have dispensed their wisdom on family and genealogy over the years. We’ve compiled a collection of some of the best of these quotations and proverbs here. Some are positive, some are funny, and some are downright quirky. Enjoy this first part, and we’ll be back with the remainder next week.

“Every man is an omnibus in which his ancestors ride.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

“If you don’t know history, you’re a leaf that doesn't know it's part of a tree.” (Michael Crichton)

“Nothing is so soothing to our self-esteem as to find our bad traits in our forebears. It seems to absolve us.” (Van Wyck Brooks )

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain perpetually a child. For what is the worth of a human life unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” (George Burns)

“Genealogy begins as an interest,
Becomes a hobby;
Continues as an avocation,
Takes over as an obsession,
And in its last stages,
Is an incurable disease.”

“There is no such thing as an insignificant life, only the insignificance of mind that refuses to grasp the implications.” (Laurence Overmire)

“Unworthy offspring brag the most about their worthy descendants.” (Danish Proverbs)

“People will never look forward to Posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” (Edmund Burke)

“We live with a heritage from earlier generations and must seek to create positive legacies for those who follow us. When the old are not allowed to tell their story, the young grow up without history. If the young are not listened to, we have no future.” (Dr. Gunhild O. Hagostad)

“Family is everything. It defines you - the heart of your spirit, the heritage of your smile, not only the color of your eyes but how they see the world. You are bound by kinship. You add your own link to the chain, and that is where you strengthen or weaken what you have been blessed- or burdened - with. That is where you use the indefinable quality that belongs to only you, the bit of uniqueness you pass on to your children for good or bad, the part of you that will always be separate from those who share your name, your blood, and your past.”
(Deborah Smith)

“To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die.” (Thomas Campbell)

“We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiralling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies.” (Shirley Abbott)

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness." (Alex Haley)

"There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings." (Hodding S. Carter)

"I don't know who my grandfather was. I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be." (Abraham Lincoln)

“To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without root.” (Chinese Proverb)

"When a society or a civilization perishes, one condition can always be found. They forgot where they came from." (Carle Sandburg)

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Comments (1) Trackbacks (1)
  1. "Without hard work there are no kolache". THis is an old Czech saying my grandmother used all the time.

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