Parallel Storyline



To make a family story on a family branch or an individual you need to weave into the narrative a special aspect, you need to add some drama to the family story. It can be based on select places, buildings, technology, historical events, famous people, events in a community or new inventions. Basically, you need to add what was developing in relationship with your ancestor’s life that impacted or interacted with them in some way?

If there was any conflict, villains, and plot twists – even better for making a fantastic drama.

Don’t sound like a history lesson but rather a lesser-known yet exciting added story. A good example is writing how it was learned that an ancestor had a handicap. If the person was male living in the USA born between 1872 and 1900 (didn’t matter if the person was not born in the US), they had to fill out the draft registration card which was witnessed by a government official. So if that ancestor had some handicap it would have to be noted on the draft card. So here you are not only explaining how you can get confirmation about a handicap of an ancestor but cover also about those months in 1917 and 1918 and the thousands of men registering for the WW One Draft. That included men in prisons.

If you do learn of a handicap you were unaware for that ancestor, that gives you another avenue to explore how that might have affected his life for years.

Another example was when I learned my mother, an attorney in the US Army serving at the Nuremberg Trials in Germany after the end of World War II. That is an interesting event, the trials of the Germany Nazi officials and their war crimes, running between Nov. 20, 1945 and Oct. 1, 1946.

Be creativity, it will get family members interested in the family history.

Photos: The WW One second page draft registration for John Henry Ashley in 1917 and Nuremberg Trials.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Find the Family Story

Ideas to Stimulate Writing the Family Story

Do Your Own Life Story

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