Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Covertly Gathering Family Stories - Part 1

In the late 1990s, a cousin published a family history on my paternal grandmother's family. It included entries for all of my great-great-grandparents' descendants. Everyone was supposed to write an entry about their lives and send in for the book. 

There are many mistakes in the book regarding dates and places, but the best part are the individual entries. During my 2012 organization project, I went back to the book and added source details from the book to my database. I was amazed at all the stories that my grandmother wrote about her childhood, grandparents, parents, and children. Whenever I ask questions, this grandmother says she doesn't remember. So I was so happy to find these stories again. She tells stories about her childhood, her parents, her grandparents, her children and more. What a treasure trove to have these stories.

She states that she was inspired to write down her stories for her children after reading Asafetida: That Was My Bag by Peggy Masters Hobrock published in 1973. So of course I had to purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.
This book is a collection of stories about life in the early 1900s. The author compares her childhood to her current life. They are very witty and entertaining and the book takes you back in time to a life before modern conveniences. The stories are all less than a page and include titles such as:
Babies
Credit
The Beer Man
The Telephone
Smells
Wash Day
The Parlor
The Outhouse
The Honeydippers
Sex Symbol

After reading the book, I can see that my grandmother was inspired by these stories and used a similar writing style. (Of course, she didn't write anything about sex.) The author didn't give names of the people involved in her stories so neither did my grandmother. 
That's the biggest problem I have with these family stories. My grandmother came from a family of 7 children and then she had 7 children. So when she says her brother did this or her daughter did that I have no idea who she is talking about. But I found a solution to my grandmother not giving me the names and not sharing her stories with me. Stay tuned to tomorrow's post.

Disclosure: The above link is an Amazon affiliate link to a book that costs 25 cents used. If you purchase through that link, I'll get a small portion of your sale at no cost to you. (So about 1/10 of a cent.)

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