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  1. saldanamoreno

    saldanamoreno New Member

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    Family tree

    Discussion in 'Research' started by saldanamoreno, Oct 18, 2020.

    Has anybody researched their own family tree and developed a story from it?

    If so what resources did you use in your research?
     
  2. LazyBear

    LazyBear Banned

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    Didn't make a book out of it, but my sister dug up our entire family history back to early middle ages with family ties to founding kings from public records. Also borrowed the family's hand painted medieval coat of arms from relatives.

    My parents followed some old myths about being related to legendary knights, but found evidence against those stories due to public decapitation without children (no relatives). It's important to stay objective and not get carried away in wishful thinking.

    There are also legends about how the first people with our family name ended up in a dispute with the Russian army during late middle ages and had to split the farm into two parts when Finland was invaded.

    From people working in the Swedish church, we got a dusty old book listing crimes against god, which makes today's Saudi Arabia look like a liberal country by comparison. Even single women wanting nothing to do with the church could be punished for cheating "otukt", because they were all assumed to have a husband in the future.
     
  3. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody "With torn and bleeding hearts we smile" Contributor

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    Genealogy is a whole long process. I've thought about basing a story on a relative. I found records that he fought in the Civil War when he was a late teen... Then was a prisoner of war down south, held a prisoner in a camp of the same side he fought on.
    Ive always wondered what happened and how he ended up a POW of his own side. His military records dont say much about why, just that he was there. I think he was either released or escaped too.
    His records dont pick up until he is in his 50s, then i found a census record of him living in the midwest.

    He seemed interesting.
     
  4. saldanamoreno

    saldanamoreno New Member

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    A lot of stories go untold. Lost to history. Sometimes I feel like it's up to me to unearth them and tell them.
     
  5. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody "With torn and bleeding hearts we smile" Contributor

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    Would you be looking to write fictionalized accounts or a "family history" type project?
     
  6. saldanamoreno

    saldanamoreno New Member

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    I'm working on a fictionalized account but I'm currently trying to gather as much information as possible
     
  7. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody "With torn and bleeding hearts we smile" Contributor

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    Might I ask what country you are located?
    I have only done research into American ancestors, so I don't think they would be much help to you if you are from elsewhere....
     
  8. saldanamoreno

    saldanamoreno New Member

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    I'm from New York, I'm trying to research a little bit about my grandparents who migrated from Puerto Rico.
     
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  9. Maddy Knight

    Maddy Knight Member

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    I have done extensive genealogical research for my family and others. My first 'finished' novel drew on some of the information that I found, and one of my 3 WIPs relied heavily on the research.

    There are several genealogy sites out there, but the thing is that not all agree on dates, places, or even the spelling of the names. You really have to cross-ref a few or several to find what is most likely accurate, or as close to accurat as you can get. Some cut and clear. But many are nor. Old parish records can be confusing and lack that smoking gun that this mother and that daughter are actually related at all. And I will tell you that some family members get pretty fired up about who belongs on the tree and who does not.

    One that I have used more than most is Family Search, abd via their messaging have met family that I never knew existed. Another good source, oddly, is Find-a-Grave. They connect with other family members, some have bios and photos, or are buried in cemeteries that you can do a name search.

    I have not gugured out quite yet how to post pages here, but will do so soon, and they will be from the books I have used genealogy to build the story and create the 'based-on' characters.

    maddy
     
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  10. lonelystar

    lonelystar Active Member

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    While doing my own family history research I have found that the information you get back from a lot of the documents is effectively bullet point facts - date of birth, name, occupation. It's only when there are other documents like letters, journals where there is information about their life or personality.
    There are stories that are passed down a family, (some more true than others) and documents like census documents can back up family stories. As previously pointed out the accuracy is not always there.

    In terms of where to find information, there are internet sites like Ancestry and FamilySearch, local history groups, libraries, museums (local and national).

    When you find information sometimes it can be difficult to be sure it really is your relative. Even the most unusual name has been used before.

    In terms of a story it depends are you wanting to do a non fiction book about your own relatives or is it about a fictional serch?
    Does the person follow every bit of information across the country or world or do they sit day after day in the library?
    Think about the potential false leads, fear about what they might or do find, do they tell other family members what they have found, why are they doing family history in the first place?

    E.g.
    James stared at the letter unsure what to make of it. The letter, dated just a week before mom died, was addressed to his sister Lauren. Was he adopted as well?
    ...
    That letter had brought him less than a year later to be here, sitting in his car at the end of a sweeping driveway protected by tall metal gates attached to a long wall. Was it the right place? Should he leave without disturbing the person who lived here?

    Apart from very basic information from within the family everything I have done is using Ancestry. If you haven't used it I can give some pointers on how to use it.
     
    saldanamoreno likes this.

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