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I'm writing a "family history"

Posted by Kathy G on 8/31/04 at 16:11 (159045)

My daughter asked me if I would write down information about the family. She says that she hears my husband and me say we wished we had asked our parents something when they were alive, and she says that maybe I will think of things about our past that she'd find interesting and doesn't necessarily know. I thought it was a good idea and I started it.

This isn't an easy task but it's kind of fun! I thought I'd start with my husband's and my childhoods and then do the grandparents. For me, that's an easier task than for most because my husband and I have known each other all our lives. His father and my father were best friends from the time they were fourteen years old and they graduated from high school together. So even though, he and I lived in different places over the years, the families always had contact. I've actually mentioned a couple of things he doesn't remember from his childhood! He has almost no memory of his childhood and my first memory was when I was three years old.

I don't expect it to be 956 pages long like Clinton's book but, as those of you who know me will attest, it could border on that! You know how much I love to talk!

She asked if I'd write down things her brother and she may have said or done that aren't in their baby books so it could really be a lengthy process but I think it's a great idea. And my son and his wife thought it was a great idea.

Since the arthritis in my hands is really acting up these days and I shouldn't be even posting right now, I've not made a lot of recent progress but I think it's a neat idea and something I can work on during the winter. I'm going for a cortisone shot and that should help my really bad hand and I might even have the other one done.

Thankfully, she's not interested in researching a family tree because I don't want to do that. She just wants to know about us and her grandparents.

Thought I'd throw it out there because I'll bet many children would appreciate such a thing. Just in recent casual conversation, she didn't realize that I was an extremely active child, to the point where my mother used to say that if my older sister had been like me, I wouldn't exist! I thought she knew that I was a handful but then I remembered that my mother died when she was only six and she never heard some of her stories about me.

So, if you're looking for a project while you're staying off your feet, maybe this is something you could do for your family.

Re: I'm writing a "family history"

Julie on 8/31/04 at 16:29 (159051)

Kathy, that's a great thing to do for your children. I wish my parents had done it for me! And I think you'll enjoy doing it and get a lot out of doing it: you'll probably remember lots of things you'd forgotten.

Re: I'm writing a "family history"

Pauline on 8/31/04 at 18:20 (159061)

What a great idea and I know anything you write will be far better and more interesting than Clinton's book.

Remember you can alway record your thoughts and transcribe them to paper later or have someone else do that for you if necessary when your in pain.
It sounds like a very worthwhile project/hobby and perhaps one that many of us should consider doing.

My uncle did this for our family when he was 80 years old and his son then took the volumn of papers that he had hand written had it typed & published giving each family member a copy. It really is a nice history of his life and that of my father, his brother. It begins with their arrival in this country as children. My uncle remained mentally sharp until he passed away several years later.

Re: I'm writing a "family history"

Suzanne D. on 9/01/04 at 21:09 (159122)

Great idea, Kathy! How many times have I wished my great-aunts had written down the things they told us about their early lives. I remember several of those events they described, and I need to write them down for my daughters. They talked about the first automobile which came to our small town. The visitor drove up and down the four main roads with people gathering on both sides as they do for parades, and they remembered hearing people say, 'Thirty-five miles an hour! What is this world coming to?!'

My mother wrote down some of the 'funny' things I said as a young child, and that has always been interesting to me.

Good luck in your writing!
Suzanne :)

Re: I'm writing a "family history"

Buck T. on 9/03/04 at 15:40 (159245)

Hi Kathy: A few years back started interviewing older family members on video. Some are gone now. But we will be able to show video to grandchildren. They will actually see their great, great grandmother talking about her past. Wish I had the same type footage of my parents.

The cameras now are simple and you can even write out a list of questions before hand.

Sincerely, Buck T.

Re: I'm writing a "family history"

Kathy G on 9/04/04 at 10:17 (159279)

Great idea, Buck. Now we just have to invest in a video camera! I've been waiting until I have grandchildren and was going to use that as an excuse. Maybe this is a way to justify getting one sooner!

You're so right. I do wish I had videos to show my children, especially of my mother. My son remembers her but my daughter doesn't. She was quite a pistol and words don't really do her justice!

Re: I'm writing a "family history"

john h on 9/04/04 at 14:57 (159307)

Kathy: I bought a video camera last month. Editing is actually the hard part and you will find a tripod is a must. My daughter is still laughing at my first video effort. I starred in it using the remote control which most come with. Be sure to go digital if you get one.