Spark Your Family's Interest

Generally, it is one or two members of a generation who are interested in doing the research and documentation of your ancestors. Yet the fun aspect is sharing your findings.

Most of your relatives might not be interested in your research process, successes and failures. Instead, letting them know the great stories of your ancestors will capture their attention.

In fact, do not worry if you have not found everything about any ancestor – their whole life, just one specific story can be fascinating. One of the best stories I found about my great great grandmother was that during the Civil War before the Confederate Army marched into Frederick, Maryland, in September 1862, she single-handled went around the town, collecting guns and rifles. She gather everyone’s weapon so the Confederates did not get them. Next, she hid them in a deep well. After the Confederates left in a few days, she got the guns and rifles out and had them delivered to the nearest Union camp. Once you have the family hooked by such stories, then include how you found out the information. In my ancestor’s case if was written as an article in a neighboring town’s newspaper that I was able to research online.  

Another interesting item your relatives would enjoy are any advertisements for a business, store, or shop an ancestor owned. Those can be found in vintage newspapers and city directories. 

Short interesting stories and advertisements will spark their interest for such. Share in person, on the phone, an email or written out.

Photos: The September 1862 march into Frederick, MD; 1885 Advertisement for the St. James Hotel in Jacksonville, Fl–owner J. R. Campbell; and Advertisement 1866 for Shaw & Clark sewing machine.

Related Blogs:

‘Juicy’ Stories

Types of Family Stories

Using Newspapers to Find an Ancestor’s Story

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