Sort Your Story creator, Lorel Kapke recently related an experience with her family to me as we discussed family stories.
She said her family members are not interested in research. She meant they don’t care about the names, dates, and places. They wanted to know THE STORY!
She asked me, ‘what do you do with data family members have acquired when they just want “the story”?’ She went on to say that when she visited her sister and brother-in-law DABBS in the spring of 2012, she “again” mentioned her interest in viewing her brother in-law’s “family trunk” stored “somewhere” in their cabin. She understood the trunk-contained data from both his paternal and maternal sides of the family, DABBS and SCHOTS. Lorel’s brother in-law offered a copy of his Dabbs descendant data and she copied the family pedigree. He mentioned he was interested in a book written by a DABBS cousin, DABBS Family Genealogy, by Jack Autry Dabbs copyright 1986. After returning home, Lorel found this book listed on Family Search website. She decided to find a copy of this book for her family.
Have you come across family members who have some information but really don’t care about the names, dates, and places and just want to know the story? How did you proceed? Did you collect all their information to merge into your own? Did you ask about the family stories? Did you collect or scan photographs?
Please share your experience with us.
Sort Your Story creator Lorel Kapke was talking to me about women and the census recently. She had this to say, “This brought to mind the maternal side of families…. women listed in the census as “homemakers” …. were they creating quilts (worth big money today on Antiques Road Show,) or recipes they created…enabling future generations to become famous “food network” chefs recreating their g-grandmothers recipes…. making money, how about taking care of the homestead…. from sunup to sundown… gathering herbs for remedies to help heal their children…possibly learned from the indigenous population.”
When you look at the history of the women in your family, what do you see? Only the homemaker listed in the census or much more than that? Women may have been listed as homemakers but they were, and still are today – MUCH more than that. They are…..
Business women; chefs; presidents of companies; attorneys; bankers; mothers; wives; friends; pastors; teachers; politicians; government worker; pilots; travelers; caretakers; cooks and bakers; doctors; construction workers; paramedics; police; firefighters; nurses; librarians; researchers; writers; photographers……..
The list goes on an on. How do you identify your female ancestors? WHO were they? WHAT did they do? WHEN did they do it? In a time when women weren’t doing “those” things like running a business when the majority were at home with children? What about attending the university when women were hardly ever admitted? WHY did your ancestor choose this path? WHERE was she living when she assume “this” role?
Answering these questions and looking at women as more than homemakers will open up a whole new world of story possibilities for your female ancestors. What are you waiting for? Start writing!
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California
Sort Your Story creator, Lorel Kapke recently posed a question. “What genealogical information do I have stored in my Sort Your Story folders that others may find important? Have I shared my research, family stories, photos with family, friends, on-line resources?”
This is a question many of us should ask. What information do we have? Have we shared it? Where have we shared it? Have we shared the information online through resources like Ancestry.com or WikiTree? Have we written our family’s stories or even one ancestor’s story? Have you blogged about your ancestors and shared information that way?
Each of us should make an effort every week, month, or few months, to share what we know. Try to find a relative who is interested in the family history. Can’t find one? Write the stories anyway. You never know when someone will become interested or you will locate a new relative.
Are you sharing family photos, book lists, and other “research goodies?” If so, let us know what you are doing.
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California
March is Women’s History month and many are focusing on writing about their female ancestors. Are you? Need some ideas on what to write about? Lisa Alzo of the Accidental Genealogist has 31 prompts for the month to help get you started.
Need a few other ideas on ways to write your ancestors’ histories? Consider these!
- Create a scrapbook of photographs and stories about your female ancestors.
- Write a biography of one of your female ancestors.
- Pull out old family recipes then cook or bake something. Write about the experience and any memories you have of those recipes with ancestors.
- Gather your children together and make a poster board of photographs, quotes, and their stories about one or more female ancestors.
- For young children, make memory cards of female ancestors. Take a copy of a photograph and paste it to a playing card sized piece of construction paper. On the back write some information about that ancestor such as vital statistics, favorite hobby or quote, book, whatever you want.
- Start a blog! Blogging allows you to build a collection of stories over a period of time. Should you ever start writing your entire family’s history, you will already have a lot to work with!
- Write the stories in Sort Your Story and add photographs to bring them to life.
How will you celebrate Women’s History Month? What will you write about?
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Sonoma, CA