My last post started with brainstorming ideas for ways to record family histories (link) that didn't include lots of writing. Scrap booking seemed to hold the most promise & flexibility. I should confess at the outset that my one and only attempt involved cutting & pasting pictures of Elvis Presley! The result wasn't pretty but I guess it reflected the effort I gave it! This time I will remember that “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ...
A cup of coffee with a friend was the motivation for this post. It seemed that her dormant interest in family history was being stirred by my blog. However, she felt that her perceived lack of writing skills was holding her back. This post is for Maggie and anyone else who finds the idea of "writing" a family history just too daunting.
With any family history research there will be times when the only records you have are a list of dates, names and places. Hardly the material need for a story that will encourage your family to feel connected with. The sort of connection that Theophilus Adcock provided! Without records we must fall back on what we do know. Oral stories, photographs, intuition & assumptions all have their place in a writers imagination. Trust yourself and write from your heart.
It has become obvious to me that searching for 4th cousins twice removed to add to my ancestry tree is not my forte! They all seem so distant & I struggle to feel connected. Until I find a story that is! Then the connection is made. However, when I wrote "Filling In the Gaps" & a "Love Letter For Jimmy" my memories were my starting point. Now, finding the stories, saving them on templates and sharing them with you is going to be quite a different journey!
From the archives of my mother's memory bank our family history includes hop picking in Kent in the 1950's. She gave me two photographs of her sisters family and filled in the gaps in her own unique way. Thankfully other family historians have brought this part of my family history to life. To them I offer my thanks, should they ever stumble across this post!
When I was first introduced to the world of "Sociology" I read about the "Law of Unintended Consequences" At the time I remember thinking that (like a lot of sociology) it spent a lot of time explaining the obvious. I put it down to the fact that I was a "mature" student so perhaps I was biased! Put simply unintended consequences are outcomes that are not the ones foreseen or intended by a purposeful action.
The transition from one boat to another followed by a long train ride to a short bus trip doesn't appear to have left me with any lasting memories. I can only assume that as my parents and sister were close by I had nothing to worry about! It's only as an adult I realise that an unknown destination that was referred to as a "Transit Camp" was anything but encouraging.
The dictionary tells me I am a genealogist because I am person who traces or studies lines of family descent. But, like many others who have surrounded themselves with dates, names, records, photos and dog eared scraps of paper, we are so much more! When your are a family historian the emphasis is always on the word, "family". Medically we are connected by our DNA. But it is the life stories we uncover that makes a real family!
If I had to pick one thing from my memories of the 1950's it would have to be going to the cinema on a Saturday morning. Watching a movie was only a small part of the whole experience if you were in the ABC club! There were badges, prizes and freebies and of course there was "The ABC Minors Song" . You may find it hard to believe but 65 years later I can still remember the words!