Written by Lorel Kapke, Sort Your Story Founder
Lorel recently posted about her family history on FaceBook and a conversation ensued about the value of “old information.”
What is “old information?” That information we discovered when we first started researching. How valuable is it? Do we know where we got it?
Lorel said, “After spending research hours on Ancestry.com, I realized how easy it would just to grab my family compilation from way back (1996) and input the data… with the understanding that some of this info may be “old info” and useless. Not so, I’ve been adding puzzle pieces daily and the family picture is unfolding!”
“While continuing to update my tree on Ancestry.com with the help of my 1996 compilation, I did find “incorrect data” but it was at least a “start” and as I continue inputting those “elusive” maternal surnames, the family connections are growing by leaps and bounds.”
Another note on “questionable” or “old information” research data. The family group sheet I received in 1996, was the listing of the birth of a girl born in the years between my grandfather and his brother. Since my my father new nothing of this child, I was skeptical. While in Salt Lake City, I grabbed a few hours to research birth and baptism records that can be difficult to find before 1900. I managed to not only find the baptism papers I’ve been looking for but the birth of a daughter that I “thought” was an error. Not only did I find the information I was looking for, I also understood my paternal family and a few of my collateral families lived within this town. I paged through this entire film and found many birth and baptism names and dates.
Never assume all information is accurate or inaccurate… check it out!
What are you doing with your “old information?” Are you adding it to your family tree and Sort Your Story Profiler? Are you making any new connections? Tell us about it.
© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California
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
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
As a follow-up to last week’s post about Lorel’s photograph and sketch of her grandfather, I was thinking of other ways photos and sketches could be used by kids to illustrate their family histories.
In most schools kids around 4th or 5th grade have to do some sort of family history project. Often these are oral reports that must be turned in as a written report, PowerPoint presentations, or tri-fold board presentations. Regardless of which medium is used, students have the opportunity to illustrate their presentation. We all know a picture is worth a thousand words.
Photographs can be added to a Word document that must be submitted to the teacher. Photographs, clip art or scanned sketches can be added to a PowerPoint presentation to add life to the words on the screen and the presentation given. Tri-fold boards can also include blocks of text and photos or scanned sketches or the student may draw directly on the board.
If a student uses Sort Your Story and has not included these photos or sketches into their ancestors’ profiles, they can do so when the project is in progress or complete. Adding text used in the project to an ancestors file allows students the opportunity to continue growing that individuals story over time.
Kids love to draw and use photographs, so why not encourage them to do so in conjunction with their family history writing?
How do your kids use photos or sketches in their research?
© 2013, Lorel Kapke, Sort Your Story