This is a collection of genealogy-related poems that have come my way. I don't always know the authors personally and in some cases they are unknown. If you find something you wrote on this page, I hope that you will feel honored and will contact me so that I may give you full credit. I will cheerfully remove your work upon request if you'd prefer. Additions are of course welcome.


Cris Hueneke 2/2/01

When we pursue things genealogical,
We sift thru a lot that's hodge-podgical,
Tho' cousins are GENIAL,
The work can be menial,
And I've not yet found much that is LOGICAL.



All things to nothingness descend,
Grow old and die and meet their end,
Man dies, iron rusts, wood goes decayed,
Flowers fall, walls crumble, roses fade …
Nor long shall any name resound
Beyond the grave, unless 't be found
In some clerk's book, it is the pen
Gives immortality to men.

Master Wace - from his Chronicles of the Norman Dukes
Found on the Chart of Harold F Umstott (1907-1922)


ANCESTORS - W.H. Zoschak

What's in a name, the talented poet asked.

Look deep -- listen:
The pulse of our ancestors.
The heartbeat of nations past

Land, Language, Faith.

Look into a name.
What do you see? Letters only?
Look deeper …

See the people who lived that name.

Not letters -- but flesh and blood.
Flesh to our flesh.
Blood to our blood.
Faith to our faith.

Ancestors -
You who bore my name, were your thoughts passed to me?
Do I dream your dreams?
The sun you saw I see.

The moon …plays for us both.

Days are days.
Years are years.
But centuries separate us.

You who lived centuries ago
With my name ...
Did you see me then?

You've not left this earth!
You live in my name.
You live in me!
I give you earthly immortality.

My eyes see a different land.
My ears hear different sounds.
But we worship in unison, the God of your youth.

My faith you have given me.
The God who watched over you
Watches over me.

Centuries collapse as Faith unites.

Leave you, my ancestor?
I could never leave you without leaving myself.
I take pride in you.

The soil of your homeland rests in my heart.
Your native language is the melody of your dreams.

I look into your name …
And see … myself.


CENSUS TAKER - Darlene Stevens

It was the first day of census, and all through the land;
The pollster was ready ... his black book in hand.
He mounted his horse for the long dusty ride;
The book and some quills tucked close by his side.

A long winding ride down a road barely there;
Toward the smell of fresh bread rising up through the air.

The woman was tired, and had lines on her face;
And wisps of brown hair she tucked back into place.

She gave him some water ... as they sat at the table;
And she answered his questions ... as best she was able.
He asked of her children... Yes, she had quite a few;
The oldest was twenty, the youngest not two.

She held up a toddler with cheeks round and red;
His sister, she whispered, was napping in bed.
She noted each person who lived there with pride;
And felt the faint stirrings of the wee one inside.

He noted the sex, the color, the age...
The marks from his quill soon filled up the page.
At the number of children, she nodded her head;
And he saw her lips quiver for the three that were dead.

The places of birth, oh, she "never forgot";
Was it Kansas? or Utah? or Oregon ... or not?
They HAD come from Scotland, on that she was clear;
But she wasn't quite sure just how long they'd been here.

They spoke of employment, of schooling and such;
They could read some and write some ... though really not much.
When the questions were answered, his job there was done;
So he mounted his horse and he rode toward the sun.

We can almost imagine his voice loud and clear;
"May God bless you all for another ten years."

Now picture a time warp ... now it's you and me;
As we search for the people in our family tree.

We squint at the census and scroll down real slow;
As we search for that entry from long, long ago.
Could they have imagined that long ago day;
That the entries they made would effect us this way?

If they knew, would they wonder at the yearning we feel;
And the searching that makes all these people so real.
We can hear if we listen to the words they impart;
Through their blood in our veins and their voice in our heart.


A Bridge Across Time - Darlene Stevens

She calls to me from long ago;
through sunlit skies, through drifts of snow;
in dancing clouds above the sea,
I call to her, and she to me.

So real was she. She laughed, she cried,
She loved, she lost, she lived, she died.
In hopes and dreams, so real was she,
She lived her life that I may be.

The blood through which my veins does flow,
The same as hers, so long ago.
So it will be. Then when I'm gone,
in a future child it will flow on.

I'll live my life, and when it's done,
I'll live again in those to come.
For I'm a bridge from her to me,
From all that were, to those that be.

I am honored to find my poem "A Bridge Across Time" on your website. It is always a pleasure. Did you know that I also wrote
"The Census Taker"? It was written for a genealogy class I was taking. It appeared in Genealogy Bulletin #39 page 28.
Darlene Stevens 5/16/04.

THE DASH - which is a wonderful poem, has been removed at the request of the author, Linda Ellis.


M. Umstead poetry can be found on the Internet at www.photoaspects.com/snr/souls/poets.html - then scroll to U/Umstead.


(submitted by Dorothy White)

Genealogy is my pastime, I shall not stray
It maketh me to lie down and examine half-buried tombstones
It leadeth me into still courthouses.
It restoreth my ancestral knowledge
It leadeth me in paths of census records & passenger lists for my surname's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the shadows of research libraries & microfilm readers,
I shall fear no discouragement
For a strong urge is within me, the curiosity & motivation, they comforted me

It demanded preparation of storage space for the acquisition of countless documents.
It anointed my head with burning mid-night oil,
My family group sheets runneth over.

Surely birth, marriage & death dates shall follow me all the days of my life
And I shall dwell in the house of a family-history seeker forever.


Top of Page



Original poetry presented here is the property of the individual author. Any use, including uploading to other websites or publishing in any other medium,
The absence of this or other copyright notice on any individual page on this site is not to be construed as permission for use other than as stated here.

Last Updated 1 Jan 2008