Category: Get Started

The Art of Successful Letter Writing

A Letter from an Ancestor By Susan Phelps “In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people’s lives.”   ~ Anatole Broyard On May 9, 1887, the Reverend Charles Smith sat down in his home in Plover, Wisconsin, to write a ...

Family history: Storytelling using grandma’s cookbook

Creating an ancestor profile using a book Tell a story with grandma's cookbook I began collecting cookbooks years ago, a habit for which my husband prefers I receive therapy. Or was that for hoarding fabric? Never mind! The point is, while I can say I have too many cookbooks, a few in my collection are ...

Family history: Storytelling with a theme or topic

Choosing a subject or topic to tell a story Day-to-day aspects of life 100 years ago or more When trying to capture what life was like 100+ years ago, it is difficult to know a person's personality or character from a photo. While photos may not reveal an ancestor's personality, we can come away with ...

Family history: Understanding relationships

Telling a story through family relationships One example: When cousins marry cousins Not allowed in every state these days, in our not-so-distant-past it wasn't uncommon for a cousin to marry a cousin. A look at populations and geography and one can better understand the reasons. How does this effect our understanding of family when, through research, ...

Ancestor profiling using memory

Moments in time One memory leads to another It has happened to us all. You walk into someone's home and you see something familiar, perhaps a jacket draped over a chair. You do a double take.  It's very similar to the one grandpa wore on that special day long ago. As you approach to take ...

Storytelling: Let me count the ways

Think outside the box Start with communication When my children went to college, I soon discovered I would be contacted in one of three ways: my oldest called, my middle emailed, and the youngest sent texts. To this day, these are their preferred methods to communicate with me. Think about this: Maybe the oldest is ...

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