Storifying Your Ancestors
- I write my ancestral stories in a variety of ways; some become digital stories (5-10 minute video monologues with photos and musical soundtracks) available in YouTube, Ancestral Cards (short descriptions and pertinent facts about an ancestor) in my Trello Boards, Essays (1000-1500 words) of a slice of life of an ancestor, (mine or sometimes commissioned by others) available as printed documents or a blog post (a factual story of an ancestor’s life or a series of vignettes) expanding on the imagined and/or researched slices of their lives.
- Each time I peel back the layers of mystery surrounding the life of an ancestor, mine or others, I see a story emerging; a chance to bring that ancestor into the limelight for a moment in time. Treasures abound in the Aladdin’s cave that is family history – they beckon and call and demand my attention. A lost diary here; a forgotten memoir there; an old tattered photo; or uncovered documentary evidence of people, place and time. These are the story starters for me; the facts and the evidence from my ancestors’ lives. When I hold an old photo, or open an old diary; when I gently slip those old letters from their tattered envelopes or once again admire a medal; then I feel closer to my clan and my past has more meaning.
- The more I write about my ancestors, the more I know about myself.
How will this book help you write ancestral stories?
Have you ever wanted to write a story about a particular ancestor of yours? Maybe they had an extraordinary life. Maybe they had a very different life to yours, and you’d like to share that with other members of your family. I am delighted to bring you into my world of storifying your family history, one ancestor at a time. I call writing these stories – storifying.
I think you will enjoy delving into your family history, as I have for mine. Writing family stories has been a passion for many, many years.
What about you? Do you want to tell stories about your ancestors? What about grandma or great grandmother or even great, great, great grandfather? What is it about their lives that intrigues you?
Answers to these questions form the framework for the stories that will help to preserve your family history and share with your children, grandchildren and others in your tribe. They don’t have to be famous or even extraordinary, their lives mattered. Without them you would not be here to tell the stories.
After reading these chapters, you will have the basic ingredients to preserve your family history!
What else is in the book?
I have included eleven of my ancestral stories in the book including:
- A Fortunate Life – Faction
- Freedom of the City – Faction
- Will of a Tailor – Faction
- Winnie – In My Memory
- Requiem for Harriet – Ancestral Research
- Needles in Haystacks – Ancestral Research
- The Angell Inheritance – Faction
- The Missing Evidence – Ancestral Research
- Exploration in a Crypt – Faction
- Legacy of a Master Tailor – Ancestral Research
- Diary of a Nurse – In My Memory