Casefile Clues

02 September 2013

Grandma or Grandpa Always Said

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from deceased family members. I don't have specific citations for them, which is something I should do. The last one is printed in a family history of the Ufkes family. The first one is consistent with what I know about my grandfather and the middle three are ones I heard personally--but don't remember the specific date.

  • "Be tight with your money." I have no memory of my Grandfather Neill, but family tradition has it that he was pretty conservative in spending his money. So he may never have actually said this exact phrase, but it's pretty consistent with what I've been told about him.
  • "Don't get too big for your britches." I heard my Grandmother Neill say this on numerous occasions. Of course, it was never told to me directly.
  • "These are the good old days." Granddad Ufkes would say this when someone was complaining about how things were better in the past. 
  • "The Senior Citizens is for old people." My Great-grandmother Ufkes said this in her late eighties when someone suggested she start going to the local senior center and eat lunch instead of cooking for herself.
  • "He who does not work will have as much as he weighs." This is the English translation of a phrase used in a letter Johann F. H. Ufkes wrote in 1869 to his family in Wiesens, Ostfriesland, Germany, to let them know he had arrived safely at his destination.
In addition to documenting what you can prove on paper, consider adding sayings to your collection of material as well. If the saying is something you "remember" from years past, make it clear that you're relying on your not-so-recent memory. The quotes provide insight that documents might not.