Why History Is Important To Genealogy Research – A Poem

For years there has been a growing interest in the field of Genealogy, which from the earliest of times has formed the basis of history. The natural inclination that prompts one to love the place of their birth, to learn the history of their origins and the descent of the family tree or their race, or the circumstances that helped form their lives, has attracted the attention of the intellectual public in a never-ending pursuit for answers. History reveals the story of man’s past and his development. This poem is an expression of thanks to the many organizations and historical societies that have taken great steps in securing and preserving historical documents, bitpapa a project which has been quite costly, for the benefit of future generations.

I’ve been thinking of documenting the seed that has grown into the family tree
Growing up I heard bits and pieces from mama, Aunt Clare and even uncle Willie
That Papa had known some shady characters in East Harlem who were up to no good
Louie the bookie, Benny the greaser, Freddie the stiff, Joey rubber-nose and all his hoods.

Grandpa always warned papa, stay away from those evil men, whatever you do
They’ve already spent their life in jail, do you want to end up that way too?
Get yourself an education, be smart and make lots of honest money,
So you don’t have an accent like your papa, inrealtor nor have people look at you funny.

‘Yes, son, life can be cruel,’ my grandpa would always say, ‘yet I know you will survive,
If you always embrace the memories of my teachings, they will become your drive.’
As I traced my family tree, I turned and looked at the fine man my son had become,
I bowed my head and thought, thank you grandpa and papa for all that you have done.

Enough of this sentimentality, enough of these tears and this lump stuck in my throat,
Genealogy commands my curiosity; time to get my paper and write down the notes.
Now let’s Google genealogy, but why does this one history website keep coming up?
Must I learn about New York City’s history, to fill my history cup?

I’m not sure if I like this, will it be time that’s worthwhile spent?
So many web links and articles, I don’t think I’d be that diligent!
History was never my favorite subject, honestly I found it boring too,
I learned that Christopher Columbus discovered America way back in 1492.

I admit I’m tempted to look, but I’m not sure it’s really worth the stay,
I’d rather go to the mall or do my nails, than waste this time away.
Born in East Harlem, with interesting things in our family too, I’ll give this site a try
I’ll get a cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese, and before I know it, time will fly…

Oh well, here we go, now let’s see, where is it that I should start?
I remember Papa said he was born in Italian Harlem, somewhere down by Jefferson Park.
I’ll look at the New York City Main Directory, furzly maybe there is something there for me,
I see Immigration, Harlem, Tenement living- here it is, help finding your family tree.

As I explored, armed with the knowledge I was gaining, I felt more and more at ease,
I felt sad for those immigrant families, living amidst the crime, filth and disease.
New Yorkers fought in riots, arguing their religious protests and political views.
Broken heads and lifeless bodies found their way into the papers and the news.

“The Sins of New York,” What a fantastic title. A tabloid, this I have to read.
Female Abortionist… Merry Yule-time Murder? The 1840’s weren’t good years indeed.
There was always a financial crisis, some kind of panic, and that crash of 1929.
So many wealthy people lost their fortunes joining the masses in unemployment lines.

My gosh, here’s East Harlem, the Feast of Mt. Carmel, gangs of New York and more…..
They’re all here by papa’s old neighborhood; no wonder his stories were never a bore.
La Marqueta, the Boys Club, the Puerto Ricans and the Italians, always in a turf war.
Spaghetti and meatballs and Spanish cooking, delicious aromas mingling in the corridors,

Latin music blaring, mothers screaming ‘Not domestic violence again on the 3rd floor!’
Old Irish men on porches singing, yards filled with rats and garbage galore,
The Feast of Mt. Carmel, down on First Avenue, igaming marketing attended by 50,000 people or more,
They’re all in Miriam’s memoir of the old neighborhood, to be read by the visitor.

Papa was playing stick-ball while grandpa would drink and play cards with his friends.
Compatriots reminisced about times in the old country, only survivors could comprehend.
Immigrants struggling to assimilate to the new world, desperately clinging to the old,
Finding themselves in complete isolation, seeking countrymen to bare their souls,

I never knew New York City had such rich history, in the suburbs one does not see,
Those days are long forgotten, but I’m grateful to genealogy for bringing them to me.
Because for all the days and years gone by, here forever the past will live on
All the things people did throughout history, pg79th are saved as live forever marches on.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *