Tracing a Story

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Genealogy, n. An account of one’s descent from a man who did not particularly care to trace his own.~ Ambrose Bierce

Isn’t it interesting how others can motivate us? In yesterday’s blog I mentioned being inspired by members of our local genealogy group to begin tracing a story in my family history.

When I see the work of others, I get all fired up even when it comes to putting my energy into something I didn’t think I had much interest in. But I am beginning to get stoked up.

magnifying-glass-over-business-text-10920164One woman in our group has traced family members who came twenty-seven generations before her. She has located information about her Scottish ancestors born in the 800’s, mapping out her family tree with names, birth dates, places of death and towns of residence. A phenomenal amount of research!

Another member has compiled so much material it’s contained in a tome-sized binder. Very well organized! Now she is considering what to do with all the data, images and pedigree charts.

Others have traveled to their ancestors hometowns all over the world and taken gravestone rubbings, spoken with historians, museums and community town fathers who have helped them reveal some important facts and figures to complete their stories.

It’s sad to think how many important stories in history get lost because of people’s disinterest in keeping them alive through writing. No doubt it is easier just to live in the present.

If you have even the slightest interest in your family history, check out this website. You may come across something that could become your own version of a Gift of Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

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Links to Past, Present and Future

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My first duty is to write a gripping yarn. Second is to convey credible characters who make you feel what they feel. Only third comes the idea. ~ David Brin

Did you read Friday’s post on All Things Fulfilling about stitching yarns together? Today we are going to continue the conversation from a slightly different angle.

In my first publication, the award-winning memoir called Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, I wrote a first hand account of my memories.The facts were all there as best as I could remember from my childhood.

For years I have been told some interesting stories about a character of interest on my mother’s side of the family tree that I did not write about previously.  The tales could be full of baloney because they are a bit sketchy. I need to determine if they are fact or fiction.

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In order to find out the truth of the matter I recently joined in with a genealogy group at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado to see if I can stitch together the vague pieces of information that I have been given my mother. If there is some truth to the matter, this figure from my heritage could prove to be a fascinating fellow.

Great resources are available at my finger tips! The Bud Werner Memorial Library (BWML) is an affiliate of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Some people find great fascination in tracing their family back many generations, I am not sure if I am up for the task. “But how will I know whether I’ll find that kind of research fulfilling or not if I don’t begin somewhere?” I ask myself.

I’ll keep you posted….

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, EVVY award-winning author of the memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Where is this Place?

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All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that place.~ Philip Johnson

Identify both of these places and the city where they are located. Leave your answer by way of comment to this blog. First person to identify accurately these two houses of worship will win a free personalized paperback copy of the award-winning book, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.  Family members are excluded from entering!

Hints:

  • They are located in a state west of the Mississippi
  • Each place is distinctively different yet, they are located in the same community, a few blocks away on the same street, making them nearly neighbors!
  • I can hear your brain buzzing with activity trying to figure this out!
  • I visited both of these places last week and thoroughly learning more about each and enjoyed the photography opportunities.

Edifice #1 – I am so grateful for the kind stranger who directed my husband and me to the 10th floor of  a nearby building to capture this incredible shot!

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Edifice #2 (below) – As I entered into this building I couldn’t help but wonder how many people every hour, every day, every month or year pass by this structure having no clue of the magnificence that lies inside the doors. All it takes is one peek to grab one’s attention.

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Aren’t both visually and architecturally stunning? If you joined in on All Things Fulfilling last week, by reading the posting Finding a Good Fit and if you read my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected you’ll understand the reason why I enjoy seeing church buildings. It has to do with my family history!

Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. I will post a few more pictures of these two extraordinary places.

 

 

 

Publishing Love Letters

“The love of  a family is life’s greatest blessing.” ~ Unknown

Desktop publishing has been used widely for families to document and share their family geneology and history. Because, let’s be honest, unless you are a member of a notable family, have accomplished something unusual in life, are a hot television personality or politician, a CEO “giant” or have an extreme story to tell, the chances are slim to none of having your book published by a traditional and major publishing house.

Many people find it important to travel to different parts of the world to discover, document and learn about their geneology, but it is not necessary. Tracing your family heritage is made simple in this digital age. Websites like Ancestry.com makes searching for relatives possible and fun.

The purpose of publishing a family history is to pass along stories of family members migrating from one geographical area to another, to teach of ancestor’s struggles and adversities, to record births and deaths, family values and ethnic lineage. A study of our ancestry helps us to identify and connect with those family members who came before us.

A common mistake is to think that only your family members would be interested in your family’s tales. Not so – I just read an independently published book called “Out of Vienna” by Ernie Weiss. www.OutofVienna.com.  The author is not personally known to me, nor is his extended family. But the recounting of his family’s eight year escape from Vienna during the Nazi occupation to the United States was fascinating.

If you are contemplating independently publishing a book about your family’s geneology – take the leap. For your relatives, a book of family history is the inheritance of a love letter written for your children and those not yet born.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.