Around the year 1000, the English nobleman Ealdorman Æthelweard addressed a Latin translation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to his distant German cousin Abbess Matilda of Essen. Commenting in his letter of dedication that the Chronicle contained ‘so many wars and slayings of men’, he went on to concentrate on the family past he shared with Matilda, delineating their common ancestry. Such knowledge of the family past, he wrote, was possible ‘so far as our memory provides proof and our parents taught us’.1 If we understand memory not so much as an act of personal recollection but as a process of social commemoration in which information is transmitted over time and space, then Æthelweard was describing its mechanisms within the family, to be compared with the written account of kings and battles in the Chronicle. Æthelweard’s family memory was taught orally by parents and committed to human memory without the use of writing. These mechanisms of remembering within the family are the subject of this chapter. Building on the work of Patrick Geary on medieval remembering, Janet Nelson on women and historical writing, and Elisabeth van Houts on gender and memory, it suggests that the transmission of family memory was a gendered role.2 Remembering the past was linked to female roles such as care for the dead, prayer for the salvation of the souls of kin, and child rearing. It was also a process that worked without written narratives. These mechanisms, it will be argued, were consciously chosen as they allowed aristocratic families to use the past to legitimate their present power.