Letter S challenge

I know what you’re going to say – where is the letter R challenge? I will write that one when the results of my DNA testing come in.


Writing your family history unit at UTAS involves writing short 250 word stories about an event or person in your family history. I am finding this unit very difficult. I don’t mind writing factual reports or timelines of a person’s life and including the referencing as I go. That is what I think a family historian should do so others can check the sources to verify facts mentioned.

Personally I feel once I start putting words into the mouth of my ancestor or writing about what their life was like or could have been like, then I am no longer writing family history but am writing fiction or narratives that can’t necessarily be proven.

But I did mention to the Facebook group I am a member of that I would include my short stories here, so they could leave comments about where I could improve. Click on the link for each story as each is a new post.

Story 1 about a whale hunt that relates to my great great grandfather William Smith

Story 2 about my great great grandmother Rebecca Jackson

Story 3 about my great great grandfather William Chandler

Story 4 about the townland Garshooey in Donegal Ireland

Story 5 about a murder story from Trove

Story 6 another about William Chandler

As I complete each story I will add the link.

Readers: How are you finding this unit? Can you recommend anything for me to read that might help me improve my storytelling skills?



Letter M challenge

Wow, I am slow at getting this challenge up. But helping to Moderate the Modules in the UTas Family history course has been great and one thing I have noticed is how many research aims relate to

NW Elk Rapids MI 1960s Bayview & GD Rapids Postmark Downtown Stores Businesses Corner where Franks Drugs would be plus a SALOON or two Dirt Street Horse Buggy Era2

Don…The UpNorth Memories Guy… Harrison via Compfight


How often are there stories from family members or memories that turn out not to be true?

  • Like my grandmother saying her grandfather was black because he was sunburnt from being on the whaling boats too long …
  • Or my mother thinking her grandfather was an only child as she never knew any great aunts or uncles …
  • Memories of how big those rooms in your childhood house were, then re visiting and finding they were really small …

Our role as family historians or genealogists is to flesh out those stories and either prove or disprove those memories by using records and repositories.

Readers: Please leave a comment about my post or something beginning with M that relates to your family history or your research.

letter M