Every family history has a story that needs to be told
7 minute read
The Covid era has persuaded people to do more talking and reading – and taking-up writing. With record levels of online chat; new demand for short readsand wanna-be authors, the biggest genre is currently “Family History”. Story length around 1,400 words is an easy 7-minute read! Every family has a story to be told…
Genealogy is the one subject that millions of people on the planet is actively and passively involved in. Search websites like Ancestry and Find My Past make it easier than ever to round-up ancestral relatives and establish their place in your family tree and history. The dramas and hard times endured by some of our ancestors, and the triumphs enjoyed by others, reflect directly on your life right now and the lives of your descendants.
To write about your discoveries can be emotional, exciting, engaging and entertaining. Family history is always educational as it peels back periods and places shrouded in time and memory loss.
To be able to produce a strong family history story could be your family’s finest legacy and inheritance. Pages to be read avidly and added to by future generations. If published online “My Family Story” is easily updated with new adventures, achievements and heartaches. Good news and bad news echoes down the ages, helping descendants to find their place in the Family Tree.
New family sagas can often gain attention and fans from around the world. Such new work can be a lifetime achievement and it needs to be shared with the maximum number of readers. Social media is one obvious channel. With relevant links to specialist short story websites like Ancestry-Stories.com “lost” family members can easily share their newly discovered history.
Family history story needs to be told
If you are itching to write and gain an appreciative readership for your work, can we suggest 2024* as the year to fire-up your creative talents and maybe, like Don Quixote, you can slay a few giants of your own – the pen being mightier than the sword?
Ancestral stories hang naturally on any compiled family tree as they bring the “names” to life with fine deeds or misdeeds, moments of magic or madness or even a shared moment in history. Ancestry-Stories.com offers a growing library of short, easy-read stories. They take, typically, around seven minutes to read: on journeys, work breaks or when it’s time to hit the sack. Here are some early questions to ask?
How did my ancestors fare in their lifetime?
Where did my family come from?
What have I experienced in my lifetime?
Record the lives and times of ancestors for future generations.
Write it all down… and search for pictures and mementos in the attic then ask relatives what they remember. Research the times in which they lived. Soon you could have a story so memorable that it will resonate with your family now and through the ages…
You may need help to write your story? And share it with the rest of the world?
After 60 years of writing words that gained millions of readers around the world, I decided to write about my lifetime adventures and the people that have marked my life as an international journalist and editor. That was 2021, as Covid-19 raged and we were socially entrapped in deepest Essex County, England. By Government decree we cut off from family and friends around the country. So it was a good time to prise open the family history cupboard and reveal any skeletons therein…
I summoned up all my journalistic experience to probe my family’s past. Clues and relatives were discovered in South Africa, America, Russia, England, Wales and Denmark. Soon I was reeling under the startling revelations involving ancestors on my rapidly assembled family tree…
There were tinkers, cheese-makers, retailers, dentist, journalists, teachers, soldiers, sailor, airman, coalminer, a jailed protester who was expelled to Russia, a painter to a Royal Court, a runaway teenage bride (my mother) whose wedding was probably the first of World War 2.
A great grandfather revealed as a military draft dodger fleeing 19th century Cossack press-gangs in White Russia and a great grandmother producing the first of nine children when she was just 12 years old… And still digging…
1915 was evidently a very frantic year for my Jewish grandad who joined the British army, fathered an out of wedlock son, but married (in a Bethel Baptist Chapel) a woman who was not the mother. In the same year, he managed to get himself shot and was invalided out of the army. For which he’d volunteered despite being in a reserved occupation.
Historic hard day’s night tribute
After a start like that and adding in my own adventures around the world my memoir quickly became a book-sized 80,000 words, entitled My Life, in Words. Even as I was getting down the stories, more of the participants were taking their leave of us. Sir Harold Evans – acknowledged as “The finest journalist of all time”- left his own version of a story I had already written for My Life, in Words. The story of the historic hard day’s night we shared, together with John F. Kennedy, John, Paul, George and Ringo, became the most popular read in The Times tributes the day after Harry Evans’s death in 2020. I was happy to have been its author.
We have published both versions of that day here in Ancestry Stories. Budding family history writers may find many useful pointers to their future success in both versions of the Hard Day’s Night story. And in the many other entertaining fact-based tales we have lined up for publication during the launch year of Ancestry-Stories.com
Terry Walker | Editor | North Essex, England | January 2024