Favorite Reads of the Week: 2 April 2016 – writing our own stories, translation, and teaching kids history with ancestor stories
“Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, when written, results in a person explained.” -Thomas M. Cirignano
This was quoted in an article at Write My Journey about the value of writing your own story. Rosemary Osborne writes, “You can never know the difference family information will make to people’s lives not only in appreciating their heritage but also understanding the DNA of their personality, character and relationships.”
Many of the articles I read this week talked about the joy of sharing your own story and the inspiration that comes from reading our ancestors’ stories – including Lauren Porter writing at Essence.com and Bryan Hyde of St. George News.
Also, Melissa Finlay wrote an excellent article about how she shares ancestor stories during her home-school history lessons and how it makes history personal.
Katherine Schober, as a guest blogger on Young & Savvy Genealogists, wrote about her experiences translating family history documents and how she chose that career. She begins, “When I was eight years old, my family was given an amazing gift by our distant relatives in Germany: an enormous green book, full of our family history, dating all the way back to 1610. However, there was one problem – the entire book was written in German, a language no one in my family spoke. The mysteries of our family history would have to wait.”
Creating and Sharing Family History
Whether you’re writing your own memories or writing your ancestors’ stories, thinking about your audience matters. Who you are writing for will affect the way you write. For instance, thinking about your audience will impact your choice of formal or informal voice as well as how in-depth your stories will be.
All sorts of people are swabbing inside their cheeks and spitting into collection tubes these days in the interest of researching their ancestry. Yet an old-fashioned paper chase remains far more telegenic, as TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” demonstrates once again when it returns for a new season on Sunday.
Perspectives: Books we should write; ancestor records how he tried to avert Mountain Meadows massacre | St George News
OPINION – The old adage, “Everyone has at least one good book in them,” has been a source of hope and frustration for generations of aspiring writers. Chronic doubter Christopher Hitchens added the waggish qualifier that, “in most cases, that’s where it should stay.” For the literal minded, the thought of producing a best-selling novel …
Lauren Porter My maternal and paternal grandmothers were born in 1932 and 1918, respectively, and it is because of them that I love the kitchen. My paternal grandmother passed before I was able to cultivate a relationship with her, in or out of the kitchen.
The B-17 bomber was hauled into the hangar, its belly part missing. Armed with her air gun, Elsie Ledbetter – a farm girl from Robertson County – went to work replacing the warplane’s absent underside. She fired again and again, inserting each rivet with her fingers to secure sheet metal to the behemoth aircraft.
Telling a life story and leaving it in a permanent format for others to know and reflect upon, is something that you will never regret. It is the most valuable legacy you can leave your family and is priceless. Photographs are wonderful but they do not tell the whole story and sometimes leave more questions than answers.
If you are blessed with an avalanche of information for a particular ancestor, do you include every last detail in their life story complication? When I worked on my mother’s scrapbook, I had a pile of resources to work with sheets of her journal, a life history that she started but never finished, a personal history form, labeled photos, and other sources of information.
I have seen variations of this quoted around the internet. But this week it is really speaking to me. It is weighing on me. It is filling me with purpose. It is putting pressure on an already busy life. It is reminding me that I am the chosen.
Quite a bit. Lately I’ve been spending more time in my home archive, photographing and cataloging assorted objects that really need a little attention. Like this metal tin box of assorted buttons and other bits collected and saved by my Grandmother Arline.
Taking photos at family events used to be a huge production. Today, however, it is just so easy to use your smartphone to capture those wonderful family gatherings. Uncle Sam was the designated photographer in my family when we were growing up. He loved to take photos, and he always had the latest cameras available.
A week or so ago, a genealogist by the name of J. Paul Hawthorne posted an image of five generations of his ancestry, which was color-coded by birthplace. Well, his idea (and his Excel template) went viral, and genealogists have been creating their own colorful ancestry charts and posting them on social media.
Have you ever looked at old photographs from your family? What stories do they tell? What do you know about your family’s history? For a monthlong series during Black History Month, The Times unearthed dozens of photographs never before published on subjects ranging from Aretha Franklin to Jackie Robinson to Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman in Congress.
Let’s start with three truths: I homeschool most of my children. My favorite subject is history. My favorite pastime is genealogy. All three of these intersect at a very sweet spot. I decided when I started homeschooling nearly six years ago, that I would incorporate our ancestors into our history lessons whenever possible.
The rescue of thousands of Mormon refugees in the winter of 1838-39 is one of the greatest acts of compassion to take place on U.S. soil. And whether or not you’ve heard this little-known story in Church history before, it’s definitely an inspiring one that you’ll want to keep sharing.
Stephanie Jarstad loves love stories. As a veteran wedding photographer, Jarstad enjoys hearing how young couples found each other and fell head over heels in love. In a new photo series, Jarstad documents how sweet young love only grows sweeter with age.
DearREADERS, Via DearMYRTLE’s Facebook Page, says “Wow. It just hit me that I have all these Civil War and Rev War ancestors and have never cross-checked their units and which battles they were in. Yet another way in which history comes alive when you really do genealogy!”
I shipped my spit to AncestryDNA to see how much I could learn from my genes – and found out my family history is more complex than I thought
I have to admit: I’ve become a genetics geek. Ever since I sent my first saliva sample to be analyzed by consumer-genetics company 23andMe, I’ve become obsessed with what I can find out from a sample of my DNA. After trying out 23andMe’s $199 test, I wanted to see how one of its competitors’ tests stacked up.
Each month, FamilySearch publishes a list of new changes and updates to the FamilySearch.org website. This list includes changes to Family Tree as well as other parts of FamilySearch.org. In some cases, these changes will also be published as individual articles where the need to do so exists.
When I was eight years old, my family was given an amazing gift by our distant relatives in Germany: an enormous green book, full of our family history, dating all the way back to 1610. However, there was one problem – the entire book was written in German, a language no one in my family spoke.
I hit the genealogical doldrums in the first quarter of 2016. There were a variety of reasons, the top of the list being our standard poodle puppy, Bix, whom we brought home mid-December 2015. But there were other competing obligations, including my business and my home and family.
When encountering a family tradition, take each statement suggested by the tradition and put it in one of two categories: probably generated a record most likely didn’t generate a record “Grandma sold sandwiches to support herself after her first husband accidentally drowned in the 1850s.
In his 1930 novel Immaturity, George Bernard Shaw wrote, “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” Shaw had a point with that statement. While we can deny them, hide them, or ignore them, we can’t remove the family skeletons from their places in our family trees.
Comfort feels good. In our activities, we can hit a comfort zone – those things that we know how to do and we don’t have to think too much about them. There’s no struggle involved. Comfort can also make us hit the snooze button too many times and end up late for work (or not getting up in time to let the dog out).
Do you think your ancestors stayed in one place? Guess again! A prevalent myth among genealogists is that our ancestors could not, and did not, travel freely. The truth is that many of our ancestors traveled frequently. They were much more mobile than most of us realize.