New term and new start for my family history writing group; I started this group in about April/May time, and after lots of people being interested it dwindled down to just two people and me… very nice people, but not enough for a writing group! There was an open day for the organisation which runs these interest groups in early September, and following that I have had more interest, and today six lovely people met here and we had a very pleasant and interesting afternoon!

I had a few suggestions:

  1.  some ideas of how to tell your family history:
  • a family newsletter
  • stories told through recipes in a cookbook
  • memoir/narrative: story and personal experiences, specific episodes or times
  • scrapbook or album, including family photos and memorabilia
  • family trees
  1. stories told via the family tree
  • single line of a particular surname.
  • all descendants of
  • the story of a single person and his/her line
  1. my story
  2. plots and themes
  • immigration/migration
  • rags to riches
  • village/town/city life
  • war story
  1. the starting point
  • begin at the beginning? Or not?
  • tell it like a story
  • using what you know
  1. bring them to life – use your imagination! Be creative! You can make things up!
  2. make it personal
  3. index and sources

My new friends had plenty of ideas already; one lady, a wonderful writer,  is writing about her family life, starting with her parents stories. Another lady has a collection of her uncle’s letters from when he was serving in the war… she read us a couple and I can’t wait to find out how she is going to tackle working on them! One chap has a fascinating family, a hawker who ended up owning a travelling menagerie who proclaimed himself Emperor of a town in Cornwall! Another chap and his wife were tracking down a fascinating great-aunt with seemingly a rags to riches life story, from a wheel wright’s daughter, to a woman of substance who married three times. The sixth lady is fascinated by a Victorian lady artist, has written about her, gives talks about her, and has visited many of the local places the artist visited too.

I think we are going to have some interesting stories being written in the months to come! i certainly had lots of inspiration from what I heard and learned about today!

 

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