I have written previously that, for me, genealogy is all about the stories I am able to tell because of the data I have collected. I appreciate the encouragement from Dr. Bill Smith to “Keep these ancestor stories coming!”
This past weekend I decided to give the story-telling a new twist — namely, tell my own story. I had previously ordered two copies of To Our Children’s Children: Journal of Family Memories by Bob Greene & D. G. Fulford (Broadway Books, New York, 1998)… one for my mother, one for me. We both received our copies the latter part of last week. The book is actually a journal — 234 pages with one or more questions at the top of each page and lots of blank lines underneath to write your responses. Some of the questions are standard genealogical interview questions about family members, residences, schooling, etc. Others provide opportunity to reflect upon that which gives texture and character to our lives. Opening the book at random I find, “Do you have a favorite retreat or place of respite where you go to bring you silence and solace?” (page 132) and “What is your favorite cartoon character or comic strip? Which comics do you remember reading as you were growing up?” (page 133).
I decided to do my journaling online instead of in the book. I have a variety of reasons for doing it online:
- to make it available immediately to my family and a few close friends;
- to enable their comments, which might help ‘correct’ some of my mistaken memories
- to encourage them to think about (and maybe even write down) their stories
- to be able to add pictures (which I have digitized) and web links (Google maps, for example)
A final reason has to do with my grandchildren – Olivia & Benjamin. While they both are lovers of books at this time in their lives, I suspect that they will increasingly rely on electronic media as they grow into adulthood.
The end result was the creation of a second blog, “Stardust Memories” I have chosen, at this time, to keep “Stardust Memories” private – that is, just for family and some close friends. I’ll probably share some of the posts here when applicable.
So far I have posted three entries and I am finding the process energizing. I recommend the process to other genealogists and family historians. Tell your own story as well as that of your ancestors. After all, some day you, too, will be an ancestor!