WHO ARE YOUR CORE FOUR?
Can you recite from memory the full birth names of your four biological grandparents?
We are issuing a challenge for you to write the stories of your core four. You can record valuable information about your grandparents that can be passed to future generations. Publish your written content on our site and share with your relatives.
Even if you did not know or were not close to a grandparent, you are still close to the family lore. Also, you can use genealogical resources to tell that person’s story. Allow future generations to know their ancestors by recording the stories of your core four now.
Your genealogy biography can be elaborate or simple. There are not strict guidelines to writing one. Some people like to include historical research about the era in which their ancestor lived, while others like to relate stories or memories about the person. If you have pictures, those can be uploaded as well. We welcome all of your ancestor stories and would like to add them to our collection. Feel free to contact us with questions and you might also consider making use of our Facebook group, where other writers and researchers will be happy to lend advice or ideas.
TELLING THE STORIES OF OUR ANCESTORS
Telling the stories of the men and women in our family histories can prove to be difficult. If you are lucky, you might have heirlooms, letters, pictures, or family legend. However, in many instances you are left to extract the story from official records. It is surprising how much you are able to piece together from those facts.
By using the federal census, street directories, death notices, and burial records, you can find enough information to begin piecing the puzzle of your family tree. You will find some simple facts like dates of birth, number of children, and dates of death. But, you will also find more in depth information such as a spouse’s name, parents’ names, family composition, work and home addresses, and the names of neighbors. Once you have some facts, you can begin looking for official birth records, marriage and death certificates, and passenger records.
Mothers are somewhat more difficult to research. They did not have social security numbers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They worked at home raising their families, and their families were often quite large. So, there are less official records pertaining to them.
Beyond facts, it is nearly impossible to know your ancestor as a person. Personality traits and visual descriptions simply are not recorded in the official records.
Perhaps your great-great-grandmother was shy. Maybe she was bold, or opinionated. She might have been a strict mother. She could have been very religious. She might have been obedient, or possibly she was the strength behind her husband. Was she smart? Did people like her?
Maybe people thought your great-grandfather was handsome. He could have been short, or large. Perhaps he had a big nose that generated a funny nickname. He could have been quiet or maybe all he did was talk. There just isn’t a way to tell.
What you can do is look to your relatives and at yourself as products of all those who came before you. Your characteristics- physical, intellectual, and personality- result from not only your surroundings, but also your heritage. The many years that men and women in your family spent rearing children come out in you. Your work ethic is likely derived from your ancestors, too. Your personality results partially from your genes. Maybe your great-great-grandmother was a little like you!