Save your breath.  It's a matter of moment, not History.  You're the moment.  And you make the history.  Don't fall back on meaningless clues from the history books which claim a reason for everything and which, of course, leave out a lot.  Be the first.  Stake your claim.  Get to gettin'.  Hurry, there's still time.  When you write your family's history, leave the big history behind.  Focus.  Stay focused.  Add a piece.  Stay focused on that piece.  Refine it, as fact; put the discovered matter forward.  Show the documentation.  Keep it. 

There has been a trend for the family historian to spend a little time on the round story:  she'll give you the context of the family by providing the big facts about the world they lived in, such as that such-and-such a war was going on, or that electricity had only recently been discovered.  If you mention a war, do it because the ancestor was a part of it, not because you want to play history-book writer.  If you mention the new field of electricity, make sure, too, that the facts about the ancestor's town show that electric street lamps were brought in just when that ancestor was such-and-such years old.  This is relevance.  Keep the elements of story relevant.  Be very particular about this.  When you write the over-general stuff about the world your ancestor had no part in you lose typed lines that could have been committed to discovered particulars about your own family. 

Leave History to the history books and write the real story.  G. E. Claire, this 19 July 2011.  Copyright 2011 by G. Claire.  <> <> <> <>
 


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    Author

    G. Claire is a descendant of Welsh Immigrants who came to California during the time of "the Great Excitement," also known as the Gold Rush.  She is, in addition, a descendant of young Mayflower passenger Mary Allerton and of Thomas Cushman, an Elder of the Plymouth Church.  The author is proud to be descended from Silvanus Brown, a member of that most notorious group of Vermont mobsters known as The Green Mountain boys.

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